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In any area of life, there are activists. This holds true in the natural food industry which has been fighting against the release of genetically modified organisms known as GMO.

Many activists in this area believe that branches of the US Government are more interested in supporting corporations in making money than they are in the negative effects products may have on people. The arm of the US government which approves food for the consumption of its citizens has said there is no evidence or concern about GMO foods being detrimental to health.

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The natural food advocates feel their concerns have been validated in two ways:

  1. A lawsuit forced the release of documents that quoted scientists working for the US government warning of the possible negative side effects of GMO seeds. Some of the major fears have ranged from minor side effects to devastating allergic reactions and nutritional problems.
  2. Wikileaks has released a cable from the US Ambassador to France demonstrating the US support of corporations over the freedom of choice of countries who do not want GMO products in their country. The ambassador to France proposed a method to force France and members of the European Union to accept these products.

 

In fairness to the Ambassador to France, facilitating international trade is an important aspect of diplomacy. The government frequently uses such tactics as tariffs and trade embargoes as techniques to gain concessions in international trade.

The problem lies in the controversy about the safety of genetically modified seeds. Many countries in Europe have banned the foods. They do not consider the foods safe as there has been little study on the long-term effects of ingesting such food. The US scientists who didn't want to approve GMO foods were also concerned these foods were being released with little research as to long-term unintended consequences.

In countries where GMO seeds have been used for several years, problems are surfacing. In India, GMO cotton has caused the deaths of livestock when eaten. In addition, farmers who have worked in the fields have reported numerous allergies, skin lesions, and respiratory problems. Some of these were severe enough to require them to quit working.