Will Romney Label Genetically Modified Foods?

(Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

I was inspired by Chris Christie’s speech last night at the Republican National Convention. My sweetheart and I held hands while tears came to our eyes, hoping against hope that he and Ann Romney were right about Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

It was not unlike, for me, the night President Obama was elected as our first black president.

During the course of the Obama administration, I started reading about GMOs. As a food writer, it was concerning me more and more that we didn’t know what was in our food anymore. On Food Nation Radio Network, my Executive Producer, Michael Serio and I began to interview experts on the subject. What we found was alarming and studies are now showing health effects and fertility issues associated with consuming genetically modified foods. Many of our interviews are available via internet search. We have yet to find a Florida House of Representatives member who will definitively get behind the labeling of GMOs in our state. There has been some talk of it at the federal level.

The only way to inform Americans about what they are eating is through responsible labeling of genetically modified food. We thought President Obama would do so as he promised in 2007 on the campaign trail in this audio clip: [audio:http://newstalkfl.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Candidate-Obama-1.mp3|titles=Campaign Promise of 2007]

Unfortunately, he appears to have recanted on this position. Instead he appointed Michael Taylor, FDA and Tom Vilsack, USDA to watch over our food supply. Both men have ties to one of the leaders in genetically modified seed technology, Monsanto.

However, lest you think what I’ve written thus far is about politics or parties, here are a few more facts for you to “digest”:

Vice President Dan Quayle was one of the first to speak out in favor of spreading this new technology, which many scientists claim is not adequately tested or regulated, throughout the world. Listen to this:  [audio:http://newstalkfl.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/FNRN-Highlight-Dan-Quayle-on-Deregulating-Biotech-Industry.mp3|titles=Dan Quayle on Deregulating Biotech Industry]

President George Herbert Walker Bush felt substantially the same way. He went so far as to say “we are in the dereg business”, which we now know endangered the safety of our citizens in recent studies released: [audio:http://newstalkfl.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/FNRN-Highlight-George-Herbert-Walker-Bush-at-Monsanto.mp3|titles=FNRN Highlight – George Herbert Walker Bush at Monsanto]

This is a departure from the approach to biotechnology under Reagan. In a paper written in 2003, the Union of Concerned Scientists said of the administration, in part, “Even though it tended to resist regulation as a general matter, the Reagan administration eventually decided to fashion a new ‘regulatory framework’ made up of old statutes.”

What about President Clinton? Was he the voice of reason? Not so much. Nor was President George W. Bush. They were keynote speakers in 2010 at the International Biotechnology convention where they discussed “feeding the world” through biotechnology.

We now know, the current genetically modified crops are generally not increasing crop yields, require more and more Roundup (an herbicide that has dangerous effects on humans), and nearly twice as much water as their non-gmo counterparts.

Now, we have a new contender for President, Mitt Romney. Romney not only supported biotechnology in his state, but gave us a glimpse of his proposed Agriculture Committee should he be elected. You can see that here: Same Old Cronies

Several of these proposed advisors have ties to Monsanto, Dupont, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and more.

Fast forward to last night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Chris Christie said we should take our country back. Ann Romney said we can trust her husband to do the right things.

So much for inspiration.

Food Nation Radio Network attempted to reach the Romney campaign in advance of this story. Their voicemail says they will not accept messages. Previous attempts have been made numerous times to reach the Romney campaign via phone and email. We were told he was too busy to respond to our request for a position statement or interview on GMOs.

Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 150 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday afternoon at 4 on WWBA AM820 News and  other stations. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.