We now know that most processed foods are loaded with genetically-modified organisms. With their massive mobilization against any kind of labelling that would reveal their presence in packaged goods, mega-corporations are pulling the wool over our eyes in the food choices we make. Complicit in this are government agencies like Health
Canada and the
FDA who perpetuate myths about the safety of GMOs, even in a staggering void of
independent scientific research on them. Is the salmon on your plate genetically-engineered?
Not yet, but in all likelihood, it soon will be. The FDA is set to give the
green light to monster fish engineered on Prince Edward Island and grown on in
Panama (yes, Panama!), to be shipped back for consumption across North America.
And no, you will not be able to tell whether the fish you purchase and eat is
such a denatured monster or not, as authorities say it doesn’t need to be labelled
as genetically engineered.
Europe, authorities that regulate our food are all in a
frenzy over the widespread presence of horsemeat in processed food. Not only
horsemeat, probably donkey too. Who knows what else festers in our food? My bet
is that – if it is ever to be revealed to us – there is a ton of gross unmentionables
right through the industrial food chain. Researchers at Stellenbosch University
in South Africa have just announced in a study that they found that 99 of 139
samples of processed meats contained species not declared in the product label,
among them donkey, goat, and water buffalo. While this mis-labelling is not
inherently dangerous to our health, it is certainly deceitful. Eating donkey
meat may not be harmful to humans, but it is
harmful to donkeys. Just tell us what’s in our food, please! "Our study
confirms that the mislabelling of processed meats is commonplace in South
Africa and not only violates food labelling regulations, but also poses
economic, religious, ethical and health impacts," one of the researchers,
Louwrens Hoffman, is quoted as saying.
It is almost certain that such misleading or inadequate labelling is rife across North America and
Europe, as lack of proper regulation allows all manner of
deceptive practice to go unchecked. My hope is that authorities now make
strenuous efforts to get to the bottom of the abuse, punish the perpetrators, and bring
in sweeping new laws that enforce full, transparent labelling of all food
products. Instead, I fear that a lot of the dodgy undeclared meat will continue
to be swept under the carpet and into burgers and sausages. Where does this
stuff come from? How did it get into the food chain? We might not want to know,
but we have a right to know.
The only real recourse we have in shopping is to buy our food close to home, from sources we can trust. Who can we trust? Our local farmer and food producer of whom we can ask questions, or our supermarkets that have no answers?