More than a decade ago, Monsanto began an experimental trial where they planted wheat that was genetically engineered to survive repeated applications of the herbicide Roundup. The trial was ended after a few years and Monsanto never tried to make this variety of Roundup-resistant wheat commercially available to farmers. But two weeks ago that same genetically engineered variety of wheat turned up in the fields of an Oregon state wheat farmer.
Why were this farmer’s fields contaminated with GE wheat? How did it get there? Are other fields contaminated? This incident raises difficult questions for backers of GE technology, and the answers may be long in coming. According to the New York Times, “scientists remain mystified” about how the GE strain ended up growing in this field.
While we wait for the answers, there’s one question that should be easy to answer: are we eating these genetically engineered crops? More than 60 countries already recognize their citizens’ right to know what’s in their food by requiring labels on all GE crops. Unfortunately, the US isn’t one of them. Because we don’t have a labeling requirement in the US, don’t have the right to know and then, decide whether we want to eat GE foods.
Stonyfield has long believed in everyone’s right to know what’s in their food. We were the first company to offer farmers a premium to not use the genetically engineered growth hormone rBST, and all of our products were certified organic by 2007. We’re also a founding member of the Just Label It campaign, which is working for national labeling of GE foods in the US. And now we are proud to announce our support of the campaign for labeling GE foods in Washington state, Yes on 522, with a donation of $20,000.
This November voters in Washington state will have the chance to decide whether they have the right to know what’s in their food. And what happens in Washington state will have an impact on all of us, regardless of where we live. Learn more here at the Yes on 522 website about how to get involved. We hope you’ll join us in supporting the Yes on 522 campaign.