As far back as 1571, tobacco has been used as a medicinal herb, insect repellent, for tooth and skin pain relief, for stress relief, and even improving cognitive function in Alzheimer and Dementia patients. When the cigarette was first introduced in 1917, we had the excuse of ignorance from the link between smoking and lung cancer. And for nearly 40 years, we simply didn't know any better.
In the late 40’s, research was starting to show correlations between smoking and lung cancer. In 1953, as a response to this research, a secret meeting between heads of big tobacco companies was held. This meeting resulted in a campaign of misinformation (designed to hide and bring doubt to the new research), to slander the people and doctors behind anti smoking campaigns, and to promote the many benefits to cigarette use. Finally, starting in 1965, a ‘caution’ sticker was placed on cigarettes claiming smoking may be hazardous to your health. It wasn't until 1980, nearly 63 years after the introduction of the cigarette, when the words: “Smoking causes lung cancer…” was printed on the packages.
Now what does this history lesson have to do with GMO's? (Genetically modified organisms, if you've had your head under sand for the last 5 years) First, let me say that personally, when it comes to GMO's, I am of the opinion of ‘I don’t know,’ and choose to abstain as often as it is convenient. However, while sometimes I am lazy (and some food is just too damn tasty) I have done my own research into both sides of the debate, and I find it odd that there is one part of the debate that is overlooked.
GMO's, as they are being presented now, are Un-American. As of now, some companies (you know who you are) are allowed to only give half truths on the processes, and fund and promote scientific studies backing only their claims and torpedoing the rest.
As an American, I am entitled to (yes, I’m using that word here) information, and the right to choose what I put into my body. And as an American, I reserve the right to choose to ignore said information and put said substance into my body anyways. But to deny the access to information is not only communistic, but to spread misinformation on a subject is immoral, and illegal.
McDonald's is still doing well even after putting calories and other nutrition labels on their menu. Tobacco continues to do well even after many variations of warning labels on their products. Labeled GMO's won't stop anyone from buying them. and would only serve to increase the level of conversation of how safe they are (if that is your belief). But the freedom of choice was what this country was founded on, and I refuse to believe that those days are over.
I will close by saying this: corporations will be corporations, as much as boys will be boys. As optimistic as I am, I doubt that'll change anytime soon. But this IS America, and you are an American. An American with access to the internet. (And access to someone like me who will do the research for you, or be more than willing to point you in the right direction). Choose to be informed. Don't wait for someone to misinform you. Or GMO's will simply be your tobacco, and lung cancer your reward.