© Field Fayre - The Organic Store 2013

Power to your fork

In this day and age of ‘transparency’ it’s a shame that this doesn’t stretch to food labelling.  It would be great if we were allowed to make informed choices when it comes to buying food.

Why am I ‘soap-boxing’ as my husband calls it?  Two reasons…

The first is the recent government u-turn when it comes to labelling food from cloned animals.  Caroline Spelman, Conservative Food and Farming Secretary led the move in Brussels (May 2011) to reject the requirement for food from cloned animals to be labelled.  This is despite Parliament calling for a ban on cloning for food on animal welfare and ethical grounds (the RSPCA say it has huge potential to cause unnecessary pain, suffering and distress to the animals) and

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the Food Standards Agency having declared it illegal to sell meat and milk from the offspring of clones.  Not only did she not listen to her own Parliament, but was there any public consultation in this?  No.  The consequence of which, in this supposed age of transparency, is yet another area we’ll be shopping in the dark – none the wiser to the welfare of the animal that is providing us with our sustenance.

The second is something that happened at a recent Food Strategy for Herefordshire meeting we attended.  Much was discussed, including GM (Genetically Modified food).  It was a comment by a farmer who has an organic farm and a non-organic farm, the latter on which he uses GM food to feed his animals.  We were discussing whether food that had used GM crops in its production should be labelled as such.  His blunt, and honest, reply was that ‘No-one would buy them!’.  Does that make it right that we are not given the choice?

Since people reject GM as food, the vast majority of GM crops (around 80%) have no place to go except into animal feed, yet we simply do not know the extent of the many problems with it – including safety, environmental damage and corporate control.

Find out more for yourself – type in ‘GM crops’ to any internet search engine and take a minute to read all sides of the story or go to www.gmfreeze.org.  Whatever you decide – for or against – shouldn’t we all have the right to make an informed choice with honest food labelling?

The Soil Association, the UK’s leading regulatory body on organic foods, bans the use of GM and cloning of animals. Organic food production works with nature, not against it.  The consequence of which is delicious, natural, wholesome food you and all of your family can enjoy. For more information:  http://www.soilassociation.org/whatisorganic

We may not be given the opportunity to influence decisions that are taken in Brussels, but everyone has the power to vote with their forks.