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UN Accepts IFOAM Declaration to Label Genetically Modified Foods

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

In anticipation of the Right2Know march from New York to Washington D.C., October 1 – 16, representatives of the International Federation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM) presented a special declaration to the United Nations. The declaration requests that the United Nations commit all of its member nations to a world without genetically modified foods and to identify existing genetically modified foods on product labels.

The UN delegation (picture) included IFOAM representative, Joseph Wilhelm, founder of Rapunzel organic products and the force behind "Gene-Free America;” and David Bronner, coordinator of the U.S. Right2Know March. Maria-Luisa Chavez welcomed the delegation and accepted the declaration on behalf of the UN.

Wilhelm believes that consumers have the right to know whether the food they buy is genetically altered. “20 percent of all manufactured foods in the US contains genetically modified ingredients (GMO),” Wilhelm said. “We hope the Right2Know march will raise consumer awareness and influence US legislators to require that labels indicate whether the product contains GMOs.”

The UN declaration was signed by Katherine DiMatteo, IFOAM president; Joseph William, IFOAM member; and Bernward Geier, NGO coordinator. It outlined the critical issues facing consumers in the US and Europe. "Biased agriculture policies, research and development agendas, and private sector strategies favor short-term individual profits,” the declaration states. “This (behavior) is to the detriment of the long-term sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of all and is responsible for hunger, poverty, climate change, and the destruction of habitats and biodiversity.”

Companies leading production of genetically modified foods include Monsanto in the US and BASF and Novartis-Syngenta in Europe. Unless radical changes to curtail GMOs are adopted worldwide and the subsidy for agri-industry and monocultures is greatly reduced, the future of organic farming and healthy, natural foods will be threatened. IFOAM and its 750 member organizations in more than 110 countries are dedicated to uniting and leading organic farmers and businesses worldwide to work toward a safe and natural food supply.

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