What Exactly Is a GMO—and Why Should You Care?

What Exactly Is a GMO—and Why Should You Care?

Megan Bedard
TakePart

The debate over genetically modified organisms is heating up. Occupymonsanto.com reports that, in just a single week, more than 60 GMO protests are scheduled to take place surrounding the anniversary of the Occupy Movement, starting September 17. The protests will mark a high point in the past eight months of increasing agitation.

Ever since Proposition 37—a measure that would require mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients—made it onto California’s November ballot, the issue has escalated rapidly. Major food companies are throwing millions of dollars at a campaign to thwart the bill, while less wealthy organizations—theRight to Know Campaign and Non-GMO Project among them—are working furiously to grow awareness where they lack funds.

Both sides say the issue is a matter of access to infomation. Proponents of Prop 37 say consumers have a right to know what they’re eating, while opponents argue that labeling would cause undue panic among consumers, who will misunderstand the labeling.

In the end, regardless of how labeling laws shake out come November, you’ll decide what you buy and eat. So here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the fraught issue of genetically modified foods.

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