Anti-GMO proposal denounced at Safeway shareholder meeting
At the annual meeting of Safeway shareholders this past Friday in Pleasanton, Calif., the overwhelming majority of shareholders followed the advice of the National Center for Public Policy Research and rejected an anti-scientific shareholder proposal that would have forced the grocery store chain to brand products containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) with labels.
The purpose of the mandatory-labeling campaign is to deter the sale of products containing GMOs by frightening consumers unnecessarily.
"Safeway's shareholders sent a loud message to the GMO activists and lobbyists that represent them - science trumps baseless fear-mongering campaigns," said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq.
Danhof spoke out against a proposal submitted by the Green Century Equity Fund that sought to require the company to identify and label all of its products that "may contain genetically engineered ingredients."
"In the face of all of the uncontroverted scientific evidence that GMOs are safe, the proponent of the GMO-labeling proposal had the temerity to tell Safeway's shareholders that no long-term scientific evidence exists to show that GMO foods are safe," noted Danhof. "This is beyond willful ignorance. Some anti-GMO activists are shameless in their attempt to advance their agenda."
Danhof countered the proposal by noting, in part:
This proposal is unscientific, unnecessary for Safeway's business purposes and would increase food prices, disproportionately harming lower-income customers.
Numerous scientific bodies have determined that GMO foods are safe, including:
1. The National Academy of Sciences
2. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (which has stated that the "science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe”)
3. The American Medical Association (which has stated that "Bioengineered foods have been consumed for... 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.")
4. The Royal Society of Medicine
5. The World Health Organization
The European Union spent ten years and hundreds of millions of Euros to exhaustively examine GMOs, determining: "The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies."
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