Colorado Proposition to Label GMOs

Colorado voters will determine whether to “mandate labeling of genetically modified food products that are sold in the state.” Those who favor the proposition believe it is needed to protect consumers. As one advocate wrote in a letter to the editors of the Denver Post, “Because GMOs are not natural, we simply don’t know what the long-term health consequences might be, and therefore consumers should have the right to know where their food comes from, so that they can decide whether they want to accept those risks.” Another supporter writes, “The GMO debate boils down to freedom—the freedom to chose what I eat. That freedom simply does not exist if food producers are allowed to deny me the information I need to make my choices.”

Those opinions are in opposition to an editorial by Don Ament, former Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. He writes that approval of the proposal would “…give Colorado consumers inaccurate, unreliable and misleading information.” What sways my opinion so far is his further statements that “Consumers already have reliable options to choose foods made without GE (Genetically Engineered) ingredients. They can select from thousands of food products labeled ‘organic’ or ‘non-GMO’ under existing federal labeling standards.”

I continue to watch and read about the GMO debate, but at this point I agree with Mr. Ament that food costs would increase “ consumers either avoid products with special labels or manufacturers eliminate items containing GMOs…” The FDA has approved the GMO foods that the labeling would identify, and ,if that agency knows what they are doing, the labeling would result in higher costs without improvement in food safety. I intend to vote no on Proposition 105 absent any rational argument that would change my mind. Dissenters better hurry because the mail-in ballot will be in my hands in about a week, and I intend to vote as soon as possible so I can turn off all the political ads on television.

3 thoughts on “Colorado Proposition to Label GMOs

  1. I agree with RF_Alum. We have a system, via the FDA, for safety. We have a system to label organic and non-GMO, and there are many private organizations that award various ratings (for example organic, Fair-Trade, natural, humane, salmon safe, OneCert), if a producer chooses to use them. I certainly support a consumer’s right to know, but I think we already have information. I don’t see what the added cost of mandated labeling will gain. (Just saying, – I can’t vote on this anyway since I live in New Mexico.)

  2. Too bad Ponderer isn’t a Colorado resident, as we could use the vote. I would note that our highly-educated and supposedly enlightened populace registers dead last in the ranking of states for percentage of childhood vaccinations(Colorado’s vaccination rate is 85%; intellectually challenged Mississippi comes in first at 99%). Evidently the fact that no scientific study has found a credible connection between these vaccinations and autism hasn’t penetrated our resident eggheads any further than the fact that no credible evidence exists that GMOs are in any way harmful to humans. Yet these same eggheads look down their bespectacled noses at those of us who remain skeptical about human-caused climate change. Go figure.

  3. I am voting yes on Proposition 105 and will try to address some of the points and concerns in your post and in the comments. 1) You cannot count on the FDA (or the EPA) to protect your health, just as you could not count on the DOE to protect the workers at Rocky Flats. Many high ranking FDA and EPA staffers came from Monsanto and you can bet that they will be protecting their former employer’s interests before they think about yours ( 2) Contrary to what we’re being told, there are NO long-term, independent scientific studies or clinical trials, free of conflicts of interest, proving that GMOs are safe. Radiation, X-rays, DDT, dioxins, tobacco – these were all things that we were once told were safe too…. 3) GMOs, defined as genetically engineered plants, are NOT the same as hybridized plants. GMOs are only created in a laboratory, by inserting the genes from one species into the genes of another species. For example, Bt corn is created by inserted the genetic material from a bacterium into corn. Bt corn is registered as a pesticide with the EPA. “Round-Up Ready” crops are engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Round-Up, so that farmers can spray Round-Up directly on their crops (which they wouldn’t normally do) to kill the weeds. GMOs have been implicated in autoimmune reactions and other adverse health conditions, but until we know for sure, why take the chance? 4) Food prices are not expected to increase in any meaningful way – this is another lie that the lobbyists are feeding us. Consumers Union just released a study that shows that food prices are not expected to increase significantly as the result of a labeling law. ( 5) Follow the money. Monsanto, Pepsico, Dow, Kraft, General Mills and others have poured over $8 million into Colorado alone to try to prevent GMO labeling. Why? Because they are protecting their own corporate interests. ( 6) Farmers cannot “re-use” GMO seeds, a long-standing method to reduce costs. They must purchase new seeds every year from the manufacturers. In fact, Monsanto went to court to reserve the right to sue farmers for patent infringement, even if their crops were inadvertently fertilized by pollen drift from a neighboring farm. ( 7) 64 countries now require GMO labeling. The US is not one of them. In fact, some countries have already started refusing GMO crops ( For these reasons and more, I will be voting “yes” on Prop. 105.

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