Just Label It!

13 Aug 2012

The second national seminar on the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods was organized by Slow Food in Uruguay from July 27 to August 2, as part of a national campaign for compulsory labeling of the escalating number of GM foods on supermarket shelves.

The event was organized by the Slow Food Canario Convivium together with the Montevideo Rural and Punta del Diablo Convivia. In addition to lobbying for transparent traceability of GM products, they are working in support of a new law that would ban the cultivation, including experimental open-air plantings, of genetically modified soya and corn.

“We are consuming GM foods everyday – nearly all soybeans and 80% of corn found in Uruguay are GM – and without a compulsory labeling system, we are robbed of a choice,” said Laura Rosano leader of Slow Food Canario and chef known for her regional cuisine.“ We are feeding our babies maize porridge and turning our population into a giant health experiment!”

About 100 participants joined the event, which presented recent research from the region on the right to information and GM production. Argentinean lawyer and environmental journalist Dr. Graciela Cristina Gomez presented her paper “Information Protection and Fair Competition”; Carlos Pereyra, director of the Consumer Association discussed his “Information and the Controlled Citizen”; and Adriana Cauci from the School of Nutrition spoke about her research into “Labeling and Citizenship in Childhood”.

Catering during the event offered an opportunity to showcase and taste the products of producers and farmers from the Slow Food network, including those who will participate in Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2012 this October in Italy: Sabores Canario, Aida Sur and Conservas del Este. Their local specialties included vegetable pâtés, local spirits, jam made with the native palm fruit butiá, and gofio, a flour made by stone-grinding toasted creole (criollo) corn kernels.

The entire conference can be viewed online (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).

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