A coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals plans to march on Washington, D.C. this fall to raise awareness about the lack of labeling of genetically engineered foods. Such foods are also termed “genetically modified organisms” or “GMOs.” The GMO Right2Know March will go right through the Philadelphia area and will feature daily events between New York and Washington, D.C.
From October 1st through the 16th thousands of marchers are expected to walk part or all of the 313 miles from the United Nations’ Headquarters to the White House.
The march will rally in a broad swath of East Coast cities and towns including Philadelphia and the surrounding communities of Morrisville, Trevose, Jenkintown and Springfield. The marchers are looking for support from communities along the route which can be viewed at Right2KnowMarch.org.
“Pesticide companies develop Genetically Engineered food crops by combining DNA from plants, animals, bacteria and viruses, to contain or resist pesticide, which results in more pesticides sold and sprayed,” says Michael Hansen, Chief Scientist of Consumers Union. “Genetically engineered foods can be detrimental to our health, just as they are to the environment and farmers’ livelihoods. American consumers deserve the choice whether they want to eat GMOs, just like their counterparts in Europe and Japan,” says Hansen who will join the kick off of the March on October 1 at the United Nations in New York.
Supporting organizations include the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), Non-GMO Project, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now, National Co-operative Grocer Association, Organic Trade Association, The Organic Center, the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA), Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of NY.
“While most Americans agree we have a right to know what is in our food, the federal government has resisted labeling genetically engineered food for over a decade,” says Right2Know March organizer Katherine DiMatteo, President of IFOAM. “It’s time to demand that the government be responsible to its citizens and enact mandatory labeling of GMOs instead of pretending that GMO crops are the same as traditional crops.”
“After 30 years and billions of dollars in research, only two principal traits have been successfully developed: weed killer tolerance and insecticide production. Despite industry promises, there are no GMO traits currently on the market for increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other humanitarian or environmental benefit,” says Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project, fiscal sponsor of the Right2Know March. “Americans should have the right to opt out of this experiment, and this march is about standing up and demanding that freedom.”