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Letter: We need GMO labeling

Although foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are ubiquitous in the average American diet, most consumers do not know that the foods they eat contain GMOs. Consumers have the right to know what they put into their bodies. House Bill 660 would help support this right in New Hampshire.

The Food and Drug Administration approved GMOs in the 1990s based on the premise that GMOs are substantially equivalent to other foods and crops. However, the insertion of foreign genes into an organism’s DNA can alter the expression and functioning of the existing genes. These genetic modification side effects can increase the production of proteins that are toxic or allergenic to humans. No testing is required in the United States to determine if GMOs are harmful to humans. However, peer-reviewed animal-feeding studies have indicated negative effects to the liver, kidneys, reproductive organs, the immune system and the digestive system from a GMO diet.

While the full body of studies regarding the safety of GMOs is inconclusive, many studies indicating no harm from GMOs are produced by scientists either directly or indirectly funded by the GMO industry. The lack of scientific consensus regarding the safety of GMOs is a primary reason why foods containing GMOs should be labeled. In the face of studies suggesting potential harms from consuming GMOs, individuals have the right to choose whether or not to avoid eating GMO-containing foods. Putting labels on GMO-containing foods gives consumers the ability to make their own decisions.



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