Ronnie Cummins has an article at Counter Punch on why GM foods need labeling. The article is worth reading because there exists a growing body of research that supports the claims he is making about the cancer, birth defects, and other problems linked to GM food.
It is not that genetic modification is itself the problem. Rather, the problem with GM food is the type of modifications that have occurred. 1 primary type found in corn, soybeans, and (I think) sugar beets allow for heavy use of Round-Up which is implicated now by the EPA in endocrine disruption in humans (potentially leading to birth defects and learning disorders). The other type emits a pesticide that has been genetically inserted. The pesticide is "natural," but that doesn't mean its not toxic.
I've seen research (cited in this blog) which has found that lab animals (guinna pigs) fed exclusively GM products of these types became infertile after a few generations.
That would solve the energy crisis and the global warming problem I guess but what a price to pay...
Anyway, here is an excerpt from R. Cummins article:
Why We Need Labels on GM Foods
By RONIIE CUMMINS
"Gen-M, the first Monsanto Generation of humans force-fed genetically modified foods hasn't reached reproductive age yet (they were born in the late 1990s). But, if a critical mass of animal feeding studies are any indication, the millennial generation, reared on Food Inc.'s unlabeled "Frankenfoods" can look forward to a long-term epidemic of cancer, food allergies, learning disabilities, sterility, and birth defects.
"Corn (85% of U.S. production is GM), soy (91% GM), cotton (88% GM), canola (85% GM) and sugar beets (95% GM) are all genetically engineered by Monsanto to withstand massive doses of the company's glyphosate herbicide RoundUp, or else to exude their own pesticide, Bacillus Thuriengensis (Bt). RoundUp, the favorite weedkiller poison of non-organic farmers and gardeners, causes brain, intestinal and heart defects in fetuses. And scientists warn that RoundUp, the most extensively used herbicide in the history of agriculture, "may have dire consequences for agriculture such as rendering soils infertile, crops non-productive, and plants less nutritious." In addition, hundreds of thousands of US dairy cows are injected with genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (developed by Monsanto) in spite of studies linking BGH with cancer, and longstanding bans on the drug in the EU, Japan, Canada, and other industrialized nations...."