We have a right to know if food will make us barf

TV celebrity Dr. OZ says, ‘We have a right to know if our food has been genetically modified.’

I’ve been saying the same thing for 20 years – just put some boundaries on what is genetic modification, because all food is genetically modified, and figure out the best way to provide that information without imposing on others who don’t care about such lifestyle choices.

As a physician though, why isn’t Ozzie outraged about all the millions of people who get sick from the food and water they consume each year? 23 dead and 116 sick from cantaloupe is perhaps too graphic when compared to the histrionics that can be generated by hypothetical risks.

Similarly, Justin Gillis writing in the New York Times reports about self-proclaimed deep thinking going on in the food sustainability camp – which is as vague as the no-GMO camp – and that an intriguing idea is a new certification system for sustainably produced food.

“Instead of catering to a single ideological predilection, the way the organic label does now, the new label would be based on a system that awards points for public benefits and subtracts them for environmental harm. Foods produced according to the best practices would get the highest scores, or possibly the highest letter grades. If consumers adopted it, such a certification would put pressure on companies and farmers to clean up their practices.”

Consumers have the power. Oz Man, take up the cause of microbiologically safe food: we have a right to know if food will make us barf.