Activist Craig Winters of the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods will visit San Francisco as part of the Real Food Company’s September celebration of National Organic Food Month. Winters will preside at two events designed to enhance the debate over the production and marketing of genetically modified foods.
On Thursday, September 7, between 11 and 12 noon, he will be featured in a “live by phone” radio broadcast on KEST radio 1450.
On Saturday, September 16, at 2 p.m. Winters will speak at the San Francisco Holiday Inn, 1901 Van Ness Avenue.
The FDA does not currently require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. The goal of Winter’s organization is to “create a national grassroots consumer campaign for the purpose of lobbying Congress and the President to pass legislation that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States.” Winters contrasts U.S. policy with that of the European Union which currently requires the labeling of GE foods. He has garnered the support of California Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Dennis Kucinich through their sponsorship of The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.
As promoters of organically grown food and sustainable agriculture for over 30 years, Jane and Kimball Allen of the Real Food Company, a Bay Area natural foods grocery, are organizing this gathering to urge The U.S. government to join the worldwide effort to demand accountability from biotechnology companies. This would not only require labeling but independent safety testing on all genetically modified organisms in order to demonstrate that they have no harmful effects on human health or the environment. Without controlled human feeding tests it is possible that allergic or even cancerous effects might come as a result of the long-term consumption of genetically engineered foods.
Biotech companies assert that GE foods have the potential to add nutritional benefits to the plant and that GE crops will increase farm productivity and feed the world’s hungry people. But respected anti-hunger organizations like Oxfam and Food First assert that the world already produces enough food to provide a nutritious diet for the world’s population. Winters will speak to such controversial topics as well as the campaign to encourage major food producers such as the Campbell Soup Co. and Kellogg’s to stop using GE ingredients in their products.