GMO labeling debate comes to Big Food hub of Minnesota - KMSP-TV

GMO labeling debate comes to Big Food hub of Minnesota

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In California it was known as Proposition 37 and it failed. Prop 37 was would mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods in California.

Four corporations headquartered in Minnesota funded opposition to California's Proposition 37: General Mills, Inc. ($519,401.17), Hormel Foods Corporation ($374,300.00), Cargill, Inc. ($202,229.36) and Land-O-Lakes, Inc. ($21,513.78).

However, this month, in January Minnesotans will lobby legislators to mandate products containing GMOs to be labeled accordingly.

Let's first be clear about what a GMO is. GMO stands for "genetically modified organisms."

In the simplest terms possible, an example of a GMO is a corn seed with built in (equivalent of) "Round-Up."

That's right; it is a lab created seed designed to (un)naturally repel insects. Farmers can longer use their own seeds to yield a crop.

Many countries, 60 in fact have banned the use of GMOs because of the research supporting their unsafe effects. On the other side of this debate is the biotech industry.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was a strong advocate for building up Minnesota's biosciences industry. Pawlenty maintained it would take many years even decades to build the industry however.

There are many Minnesota companies that use GMOs that believe the industry holds tremendous promise for the state's future. But bioscience doesn't come cheap. The Legislature must be willing to make investments for the industry to grow.

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