DENVER -- The movement to require food manufacturers to identify genetically modified organisms (GMO) is picking up support and may be an issue for voters to decide this November.
Members of a coalition fighting for GMO labeling held a rally at the state capitol then marched to the Secretary of State’s office Monday.
They have collected more than 170,000 signatures on a petition in an effort to get the issue on the ballot. They say they well surpassed the 86,105 signatures required.
Reports estimate that more than 80 percent of conventional processed foods contain ingredients that are modified to last longer and yield better results. Commonly modified food includes corn, soy and canola.
“Right now there's not a family in the country that isn't impacted by diabetes or autism or allergies or cancer. People are having a food awakening and they want to know what's in their food," said Robyn O’Brien of the Allergy Kids Foundation.
There are experts who say GMOs are safe, although more than 64 other countries require labels to identify them.
Sara Froelich of the Coalition Against Misleading Labeling Initiative warns that requiring GMO labeling would be “a very costly measure that would cost Colorado taxpayers millions of dollars and would increase Colorado families' grocery bills by over a hundred dollars every year.”
Groups that are calling for GMO labeling say companies that are already doing it are shining examples for others to follow and prove that being forthright about a product’s contents doesn’t have to affect the bottom line.
Health experts say anyone wanting to avoid GMO’s can find many labeled items in their health food store.