October 5, 2012

Dear Michelle Obama. ~ Katherine Paul


Help us Label GMOs.

I voted for Barack Obama because, well, seriously—John McCain? And after eight depraved years of Bush and Cheney, I needed to believe again.

I wanted to believe everything he promised on the campaign trail, including this: ““We’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.”

Obama has not honored that promise—even though polls show that more than 90 percent of Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, want to know if the food they buy has been genetically modified.

Michelle Obama has adopted childhood health and nutrition as one of her pet projects. I think that’s great. I also think, that if she really cares about childhood obesity and allergies, she must know that these and other health issues have been linked to GMO foods— which make up 75 percent-85 percent of all the processed foods on grocery store shelves. So she must want to be able to avoid those foods for her kids, right? And the best way to do that is to make sure those foods are labeled. (Of course, it would be better to get rid of them completely, but that’s going to be tough to do, what with all those Monsanto lobbyists and former Monsanto employees running around Washington).

So I hope you’ll join me and about 172,000 other folks so far, in asking Michelle Obama to remind President Obama of his campaign promise. Who better to do that? She’s got the president’s ear—and her reputation as a spokesperson for improved childhood nutrition to protect as well.

Just last week, French scientists published the results of the first ever long-term study on the health effects of Monsanto’s GMO corn and its best-selling herbicide (called Roundup) on lab rats. According to the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, rats fed a lifetime diet of GMO corn and the herbicide-tolerant GM corn, or given water containing Roundup in amounts considered safe in drinking water, suffered tumors, multiple organ damage and premature death.

The study drew some criticism for its methodology. But it highlighted the fact that we know very little about the long-term health consequences of a GMO-laden diet. It also raised this critical question: Why are GMOs allowed in our food, without our knowledge, when it’s clear that they have not been proven safe?

Now would be a good time to ask Michelle Obama to pressure President Obama to do the right thing: honor his campaign pledge to get GMOs labeled.


Katherine Paul helps the Organic Consumers Association battle the biotech behemoths, by spreading the word about GMOs and other assaults on our health and planet. She’s adjusting to a temporary stay in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she spends far too much time in front of a computer, and not nearly enough time hiking. She wishes she’d majored in Spanish in college, instead of French.


Editor: James Carpenter

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