Give yourself the right to know

You might think you know what you're eating, but you don't.

Genetically modified ingredients have taken the food industry by storm, turning up everywhere and in everything in the space of just a few short years. And despite the considerable health and safety concerns over these ingredients, there are no requirements in the United States to list them.

According to new numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 88 percent of all corn grown in the United States is now genetically engineered, along with 93 percent of all soybeans and even 94 percent of our cotton.

Most people eat corn and soy in some form or another all day long -- and most of them have no idea what they're really eating. And it's not just these two staples.

Fruits and vegetables have been "tweaked" to make them larger, brighter, longer lasting, and more appealing. And if these "frankenfoods" aren't bad enough, there are even "frankenfish" getting ready to head to the market soon.

You'd think this widespread availability would mean GM ingredients have been tested in humans and proven safe. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong -- because there are literally no long-term studies on the safety of genetically modified foods in humans.

In the limited studies we do have -- on animals, not people -- GM foods have been linked to fertility problems, immune system disorders, birth defects, and more.

Some studies have also found changes in the gut, liver, kidney, and spleen.

Even worse, the genetic modifications to some crops were made so they could withstand more and more powerful chemical pesticides and herbicides. That makes it easier for the factory farms -- just soak the fields and call it a day -- but it also means today's produce contain higher-than-ever levels of chemicals.

In addition, some of my colleagues are very suspicious that GMO's are one of the main reasons food allergies and sensitivities in Americans are skyrocketing.

That's why it's so important to eat organic foods (and I mean real organic foods, not foods with the meaningless "all-natural" label).

But even that's no guarantee anymore.

While organic rules don't allow for genetically modified ingredients, organic farmers are facing a growing threat of cross-contamination as seed from nearby GM fields begin to drift.

Even more outrageously, the organic farmers could then be sued for not paying for the right to grow the GM crops they never wanted in their fields in the first place!

For those reasons and more, I joined the "Right to Know" movement here in California. If you live in this state, you can sign up yourself -- and more importantly, vote for Proposition 37 this November.

This proposition would require all food with genetically modified ingredients sold in our state to have labels indicating the presence of those ingredients -- a common-sense requirement already found in 50 countries, including the entire European Union and even China.

If you don't live in California, see if you can find a similar movement in your home state -- or start one yourself. Tell your neighbors you just want one of the same basic rights given to people in China. That'll get their attention.

Remember, knowledge isn't just power. It's health. And without this knowledge, your health could be in jeopardy.