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The United State of GMOs – Keeping Us in the Dark

Watch: My Personal Account Of How Our Leaders In Washington Are Denying One Of Our Most Fundamental Rights:

As a delegate from North Carolina at the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC), I sought the truth about GMO-labeling from the leaders of our country and was completely appalled at what I discovered. As many people may know, our food is missing a very important label – one that President Obama, the FDA, and the USDA have made a concerted effort to deny us from having.

This label is for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are in 90% of our processed food. GMOs are foods biologically manufactured in laboratories – injected with new DNA, viruses, herbicides, insecticides and/or other chemicals – to be resistant to synthetic chemicals and are completely different than hybridizing techniques allowed by nature. Furthermore, GMOs receive patents by the U.S. Patent Office because they have been deemed to be unique and different. Over 50 countries around the world require GMOs to be labeled or regulated.The U.S.A. does not.

President Obama promised to label genetically modified foods during his campaign in 2007 but once elected into office, he abandoned this stance. Why? Upsetting Big Ag and the chemical industry was not going to help him get re-elected in 2012. Protecting the rights of American consumers and keeping his campaign pledge were obviously of secondary importance.

Representing North Carolina at the DNC, I believed it was my obligation to hold the leaders I helped put in office accountable for their actions. Below are highlights from the GMO–labeling conversations I had with national democratic leaders, media and celebrities. I now know why a GMO-labeling law has never passed.


  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party didn’t know enough about the issue to respond. She has had 7 breast cancer surgeries and didn’t have an opinion about this issue that is directly related to health.
  • Senator Kay Hagan from North Carolina said she does not support labeling and we needed to look at “the science” of the issue. I asked her – “What does science have to do with our fundamental human right to know what is in our food?”
  • Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio began to answer my question saying states shouldn’t label GMOs independently of the federal government but stopped talking to me after I asked him if he was working on a federal labeling initiative.
  • Edward Avalos, Under Secretary of Agriculture stated during a lunch meeting that GMO-labeling laws must be specific for him to support them due to added regulation and enforcement of labels. I was surprised that he thinks the additional regulation would be a burden to our food system, considering all the countries who currently label GMOs. If China can label GMOs for billions of people, why would it be more burdensome for the United States to do the same?
  • General Wesley Clark, former Presidential candidate is completely against labeling because he is co-chairman of a lobby group for ethanol, which uses genetically-modified corn.
  • Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles looked at me like a deer in headlights and wouldn’t comment on the issue.
  • Jesse Jackson, former Presidential Candidate and Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and former Chief of Staff for President Obama, both said they didn’t know anything about the issue and had me repeat the question twice.
  • President Bill Clinton deftly avoided answering the question and instead told me about being vegan. He said he’s mostly vegan, but he eats fish twice a month.
  • Chris Matthews, talk show host on MSNBC, rolled his eyes at me and asked “When has that (GMO-labeling) ever been an issue brought up on one of my shows?”
  • David Gregory, Donna Brazile, and Savannah Guthrie wouldn’t comment on the issue.
  • Chuck Todd, NBC News White House Correspondent responded “Get people talking about GMOs and I will.”
  • Celebrities Ashley Judd, James Taylor, Olivia Wilde, Kal Penn, and Jared Leto all agreed that Americans have the right to know what’s in their food and had a better grasp on the issue than all of the politicians I spoke to.
  • gave me a “high five” and mouthed off to reporters asking him questions “Now that’s the type of question you guys need to be asking me!” and “that’s the best question ever.”

When Secretary of the USDA Tom Vilsack spoke at the convention, I protested and held up a sign saying “LABEL GMOs”.  It was hard to listen to what he had to say because I was besieged by video cameras and photographers in the front row who tried to capture what I was doing. When I re-read Vilsack’s speech, I was reminded that he is bureaucrat, not a man willing to go against his financial ties to protect the rights and health of American citizens.  (The Washington Times reported the news story here.)

Despite polls consistently showing that more than 90% of the population want GMOs to be labeled, our leaders in Washington refuse to acknowledge this truth and will not implement mandatory GMO-labeling at the federal level.

Lucky for us, we can take matters into our own hands and we don’t have to wait for Washington. Each individual state has the power to enact labeling on their own and if they do, it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the nation and encourage other states to do the same.

I am not sure how we can move this country “Forward,” as President Obama suggests, if our food policy and the resulting health of our nation continues to go backwards. Labeling GMOs will allow us all to finally understand what we are eating. As American citizens, it is our fundamental right to know what’s in our food.

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153 responses to “The United State of GMOs – Keeping Us in the Dark

  1. I know what GMO is and why it is bad but what is the process of GMO? I especially want to know what the process is for GMO meat. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on how they would genetically modify our meats.

    1. Frank Rizzo, the animal itself is not genetically modified, they call it GMO meat only because the feed that the animal consumed before processing was GMO.

      And my question to the Food Babe, could you list some sources where you got your statistics from? I’m just curious to where you get your information and what research you have done on GMOs.

      I agree that Americans have the right to know what is in their food, I just feel that they should talk to farmers and people that directly deal with agriculture to learn about GMOs and how their food is produced instead of relying on internet information that isn’t always the real truth.

      Frank or Food Babe, if you’d like to learn more information about these topics, I can provide you with several links from bloggers who are real farmers and share how they produce the food we eat.

      1. I agree. I have not seen any viable source information about GMO’s that gives us accurate scientific information about exactly what is being modified and how, and what the dangers are. There are alarming suggestions here but little specific reliable information. I personally would like to know more, not just be told how dangerous this is. Exactly why? I want our foods to be labeled; that is not a question. But I have very scant knowledge of the facts about genetically modified crops.

      2. Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of ‘science’ as justification for murder

      3. Potential Health Effects of Foods Derived from Genetically Modified Plants: What Are the Issues?
        by Arpad Pusztai and Susan Bardocz
        TWN Biotehnology & biosafety Series
        I have tons of such information. Where are you guys looking? start with GREEN PEACE Website. Good luck

      4. I agree, wanted to be informed so got some of the products and ended up very sick after eating them, I don’t want to be sued, so won’t mention which ones I tested, but I am now convinced that VANI is right.

        It goes without saying that any information given out on websites should be treated with caution.

      5. Just because all of the “improvements” made in food animals, so far as we know, have been accomplished by breeding, doesn’t mean that genetics are not being hotly pursued in laboratories. For instance, the meat companies would very much like to have animals that aren’t sickened by GMO feed.
        That, as it is very well substantiated that consumption of GMO can lead to mutations in the genome of the consuming organism.

      6. Actually, the consumption of GMO feed leads to epigenetic reprogramming in the animal, just as it does in humans.

      1. Google
        Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of ‘science’ as justification for murder

    1. Amen to that! (& grateful for the other useful & educational comments on here- Thanks all!)

  2. Vani,
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work you are doing for all of us who care about what we eat!!!

  3. We loved reading this article and if our government isn’t going to do anything about it…THANK GOD WE HAVE A MOUTH! We can spread the news like wildfire!!! Its so important that our friends and family know the dangers of GMOs, and once they understand and change, they will pass the word to the next person. VANI, THANK YOU FOR CARING ABOUT OUR COUNTRY.

  4. Thank you!!! When I had my first child I started to look at what I was actually feeding her. Yikes! It made me crazy to know what we as Americans are consuming on a regular basis. We wonder why kids have so many behavioral issues and adults being overwhelmed with depression and anxiety. The pharmaceutical companies are creating and pushing medicines we don’t need to cure illnesses that can be prevented with proper diet and nutrition. The more “illnesses” the more drugs they can make and sell for profits. Who else gains from this – politicians. Same with the food industry- cheap chemicals and GMO’s mostly coming from Monsanto go deep into politicians’ pockets. Not to mention most of the panel on the FDA use to work at Monsanto. There’s a place for science and technology, and there have been many issues these industries have honorably helped solve, but they have let greed go overboard and saturate our markets with consumables that are literally killing us slowly.
    It all comes down to $$ – and we forget that as citizens we have the power of choice and responsibility to wisely chose where we spend our dollars. Thank you Vani for speaking up and rallying the FoodBabe Army!!

    1. What happened to “Conflict of Interest” in regards to Monsanto and FDA…WOW!
      Unfortunately most people don’t realize the power that Monsanto has and also trust our government to take care of us. It really does come down to the almighty dollar. I really hope the Oregon Measure to label GMO passes!!

      1. Nope, it didn’t.

        The people in Oregon love their GMOs.

        And I have a condo I would like to sell you on Mars.


      2. They also enjoy preventing people from pumping their own gasoline, not so much truckers their own diesel.

  5. I live in Canada and we have the same problem – NO GMO labeling. I found a solution – I stopped buying anything made by large food corporations like Kraft, General Mills etc assuming their “food” contained genetically modified materials. Anything like corn, beets, soy, canola produced by big Agro farming is genetically modified now – difficult to escape – and people do want to escape it – that’s why corporate food fears labeling. Solution – buy from your local farmer’s markets. You can buy a wider variety of produce, organic, fresh and produced by local people you know and trust. As a bonus your $$ go back into your local economy and support the wonderful people that grow it (your new friends)! Even buying organic from the supermarket doesn’t cut it if the produce is not fresh, picked unripened, shipped across the country dead and void of all nutrients.
    My first experience at our local farmers market was an epiphany moment for me. The selection astounded me – who knew carrots came in purple, yellow and white? Radishes that were pink, purple, white and every shade in between. Dozens of varieties of greens; multiple varieties of everything – and everything had taste – unlike the tasteless greens in the plastic box at the supermarket. I tried something new every week as the veggies came in and went out of season.
    As well as the great taste of REAL food, the enjoyment of talking to the actual growers and learning about food, good feelings about supporting people I genuinely liked and putting my money back into the local economy, guess what? My health also improved – my cholesterol went down, my blood pressure went down and I lost a few pounds (weight loss wasn’t really my goal as I was only 10 pounds over weight but on a healthy nutrient rich diet your body will stabilize to its normal weight naturally without dieting). I had previously ate a lot of pasta, rice and starchy foods. I cut out wheat (another long story, suffice to say modern wheat BAD). I replaced my high carb diet with a ton of salad greens – kale, arugala, spinach, chard, carrots, onion, radishes, tomatoes, apples – again multiple varieties of each, never tiring! To my shock and surprise I replaced a ton of carbs with greens and felt satisfied – no cravings like I used to get even after eating big meals of carbs. I later learned this is not surprising since the cravings occur when your body is not getting the nutrients it needs – it’s not about volume but the quality of the food you eat – no one ever told me that, I had to discover it myself!
    Anyway this is getting long but I was inspired to write after discovering Vani’s website. The truth is out there – do a little work, change your habits and your life will change. You don’t need to be held hostage to the corporations that are killing you!

    1. Thank you, Rob, for what you wrote. I am trying to live the same way. I find it so difficult to eat out of the home as there are little to no options. I am disgusted of the fact that burgers and fries are “normal lunch items” and by the fact that you never know if the grocery stores even puts the right “organic” merchandise on the shelves.

      Thanks Vani for your wonderful articles! I can’t wait to get your book!

  6. Thank you for all of your hard work. I think you are an incredible leader in taking on the food industry. I look forward to your next investigation.
    TheNumberOneSister Michelle Anderson

  7. I have been donating money to Oregon to label gmo,s . My daughter gave me your web site. We must win this fight!! Thanks for all you do .

  8. Hi Vani, I admire your passion in addressed the GMO crisis. But why are you only reaching out to Democrats, liberals, and celebrities? Many of the Big Government cronies are huge proponents of pro-GMO activities and companies ( Have you heard of the liberty and freedom movement that is sweeping the nation? You may find much more real support and advocates for the cause as it is much more complex than just the labeling issue since so many government agencies give big agra (& big pharma) a monopoly and a pass on all the destruction they are causing. Democrats (and most Republicans) limit our choices, our freedoms, and our liberties. I am always confused why people are duped by people like Obama, celebrities, and most liberals.

    1. I agree there have been so many lesser individuals involved in this awareness program, for most they are the unsung people, those who do all the work and have been doing it all for years and raising awareness through their actions and they have been threatend by big Agro on timeless occasions.

  9. YOU GO, GIRL! I’m so happy you are taking on this issue! It bothers me so much, but my current life stage does not leave time to deal with the problem except in small bursts. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  10. Vani, I learn a lot from your blog and your articles. However, you are in the wrong political party to expect any change! The Democrats are only out to retain power, not to take any action which will result in the betterment of our United States Citizens. Talking to the politicos at the convention was great PR for you, but a waste of time for achieving change.

    I am not sure the Republicans are any better, but expect that you will find more support there, especially among recently elected Senators and Representatives. I think Dorian on September 26th had a great point, too.

  11. Another conservative here who cares deeply about not allowing the powers to be to poison our food!!! It doesn’t surprise me that politicians need to be educated on this subject, why should it surprise me when most Doctors need this education too? Then again, if Doctors were educated on this subject and relaying the message about truly healthy eating to their patients, Big Pharma would be losing huge profits on statin drugs, anti diabetic medication, chemo drugs, steroids, anti-hypertensive drugs, etc., which would mean less funding for medical schools, which is where part of their power lies to dictate what medical students are taught or not taught. So back to going after the politicians, being advocates for ourselves, and forcing the change!
    Vani, I fear that if people only see the pics of you and these politicians posing together, they may assume these politicians are with you on this subject. I’m not sure if they were posted elsewhere. But kudos for publishing here how ignorant and/or negligent most of them are about it. And for everything you do to work against this atrocity! Thank you! And thank you to all the intelligent, caring people here on the blog for fighting this cause.

  12. They are trying to monopolize the food chain, and it is sad that they are paying tons of money to try to get all the right people paid off, to shove their crap food down our throats…….I have read plenty, and I don’t buy it their food is good to eat one bit…the food rots much more quicker for starters, and I have just recently noticed that ….I must of bought some kind of GMO fruit, never has any fruit ever gotten rotten within days of buying it, and the taste has no flavor that is a GMO for ya….garbage…cows getting new gut diseases from the corn..they are killing the healthy microbes in the soil, with the ready round up, causing fungus to form fungisitis on rise…in people…migrant farm workers picking their cotton getting horrible skin rashes. They do not yield but maybe 6% more then conventional normal seed…Their resistance to bugs only created a weed, that does not want to die, their seed their corn is just like a weed, so we have a super weed corn now.yeah has no nutritional value..I have talked with many farmers as well..and they have told me the seed does not have the same molecular structure that you body needs to live and thrive off of….it takes the main component out that your body needs to live…In Hungry they burned their fields to get rid of it…..and they now have more bugs resistant to the super corn..and that was the big reason why they do it is to not have to use so much chemicals to spray…what a joke….they use has mat suits when they spray…it’s so toxic….so what have they really done except cause nothing,, but more problems for we the people because they want to make millions off of their ready round up engineering seed…farmers sewing them to get it off of their property, but they sure have the money…to buy up the labs that prove they they chemical is directly related to the bees dying which they also did the lab that proved it….money sure speaks volumes when your filthy rich…Ready round up killing the bees that do all the pollunating…we will have no food if they kill the bees off…Monsanto owns Agent Orange…what more is their to say..they spray the skies with chemicals that affect the soil of organic farmers as well,… they have complained saying the when they spray it affects their crops to boot ..and Monsanto owns those chemicals too…it is sad that for the sake of a buck they are trying to play God with our food chain it is just as bad as clowning people….no point to playing God with something that di do not need to be changed…maybe they are the one’s that need to be clowned so as to not be so bloody greedy and forcing people to eat this crap…Whole Foods is the best choice and any GMO will be labeled and support your local farmers market …..

    1. They are trying to do the same thing here in Ireland, but I’m glad to say most of our farmers and the public are aware, and are starting to realise what is going on, still, raising awareness of this situation is paramount.

  13. Thank you SO much for all your help in the YES on Measure 92 for Oregon! I am hearing that it is at 50.5% to 49.5% . We MUST DEMAND A RECOUNT!!! If for nothing else but to watch Monsanto squirm some more!

  14. The past couple years I have tried to avoid all GMO’s – first by avoiding corn, soy, canola, squash, etc. But everyday I find it harder to find the food I have used all my life that doesn’t include soy or canola or corn oil. I can spend a couple hours doing my grocery shopping and end up with vegetables, fruit and little else. I am angry that our food supply has been hijacked by big ag, that they are buying all the seeds and leaving a wasteland in their wake with dead soil, dead birds and bees, and ever increasing pesticide pollution, not to mention making a sicker population with no other options. I am angry that the government that is supposed to be for the people is for whoever has the money to pay them the most – corporations. I have thought about leaving this country but it is my home. I feel helpless. I fought for GMO labeling in Co. I’ve contributed to GMO labeling campaigns. But looking at Oregon who was robbed of a recount that might have given them the right to know what is in their food has left me so disheartened. We need a “million man march” on DC, on USDA, on EPA. Everyone needs to boycott their products. We need to bury food manufacturers with letters letting them know we are going to buy their food only when they label them as non GMO. We have the right to know what is in our food! We are what we eat and I for one refuse to be a GMO

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