Group fights for genetically modified food labeling

5:28 PM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Group fights for genetically modified food labeling



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Gulfport, Florida -- Every Tuesday, you'll find Beach Boulevard South in Gulfport lined with fresh fruit and vegetables from farms across the state.

The food sold at the farmer's market is the type of food members of Food and Water Watch want to see lawmakers that is not genetically modified.

Today, Food and Water Watch is hosting rallies across the state in a call for action to demand food manufacturers to label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. They want the consumers to have the choice when they go to the supermarket.

"There have been no long term health studies indicating that genetically engineered foods are safe for consumer consumption," said Kara Kaufman, with Food and Water Watch.

The World Health Organization says most crops that are genetically modified are modified to fend of insects and disease,
but some people, like Kaufman, believe there's not enough science to prove it's safe.

"We're working right now at the state level to allow consumers to have the choice whether we want to be eating genetically engineered food or not. Ultimately, we would love for this to be a national policy," said Kaufman.

Jack Slaydon, owner of Healthy Heritage Grass-fed Beef Company, comes from three generations of sustainable farmers.
He says he had a change of heart about the food in the grocery store after working for a large food company. As a father and farmer, he didn't like what he was seeing.

"What they've done is basically take mother nature out of the concept. In our type of farming, mother nature is there every step of the way," said Slaydon.

But not all local farmers see food labeling as a good thing. Gary Parke, owner of Parksdale Farms in Plant City, which also grows hydroponic, organic, pesticide free fruits and vegetables, worries that labeling will hurt the American farmer if produce from outside the country is not also regulated.

He does not support genetically modified food, it's the labeling that concerns him.

"If the goal is to not use pesticides, not use GMO's, we've got to catch them at the border and that's just not happening," said Parke.

Food and Water Watch held rallies throughout the state today including in Tallaahassee, Miami, and Palm Beach.

Food and Water Watch says 1,500 Floridians have signed a petition to demand food labeling of GM foods.

Click here for more information on the push to label GMO's. 

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