Tucson man pushes for GMO food labels - Tucson News Now

Tucson man pushes for GMO food labels

Posted: Updated:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

What's in your food? A Tucson man wants labels to be placedon food so you know what you're putting into your body.

Specifically GMOs: Genetically modified organisms. This ispart of a much bigger movement across the country.

Jared Keen believes in eating as clean as possible. Thatmeans organic, whole foods without genetically modified organisms.

"They take the DNA of one organism and shoot it into the DNAof something else," said Keen. He's the executive director of Right to KnowArizona.

He said one example is corn modified to be resistant topests. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90 percent of corncrops had GMO strains. Arizona Farm Bureau officials said about 70 percent ofthe boxed and processed food in grocery stores contain GMOs as well.

"We're starting to see studies come from Europe, studies oflong-term exposure to GMO's and they're not coming back positive, they'rescary," said Keen.

His group, Right to Know Arizona, is gathering signatures toget an initiative on the November ballot that would require labels be placed onfoods that have been genetically altered.

"Let's use this as an education opportunity," he said.

Two states, Maine and Connecticut, have already passed GMOlabel laws. Similar bills have been brought up in over two dozen states,including Arizona, but they all died.

"GMO crops have been on the market for almost 20 years,"said Arizona Farm Bureau spokeswoman Julie Murphree.

The Bureau opposes mandatory labeling. One reason, she said,is the confusion it would cause farmers who serve several states with differentregulations. Also, Murphree said there is already a label system in place.

"If you see a USDA Organic Certified label, you knowautomatically there's no GMO in that product itself," she said.

Keen said even if their initiative is never put up for avote, getting the word out on GMOs is a success in itself.

"We've educated a lot of people in a short amount of timeabout GMOs and that's going to make a big difference at the grocery store."

The group has collected 20,000 signatures but they needto gather 173,000 by July.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. Allrights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow