The American children have earned the title "Generation Rx."
With the increasing rates of allergies, ADHD, diabetes, cancer and obesity in children, the burdens of these diseases are weighing on families, corporations and our economy. Parents and caregivers need tools that they can use to protect the health of children.
While additives like artificial growth hormones, insecticides and other genetically engineered proteins are not found in children's foods in other countries (and not used by our corporations in products they sell overseas), they were introduced into the food supply in the United States beginning in 1994 without our informed consent.
Help us to protect American children with the labeling of these ingredients, so that Americans can make an informed choice when it comes to protecting the health of their loved ones.
To learn more, watch this TEDx talk called "Patriotism on a Plate" by clicking here.
It is along those lines that we are writing to you today to help protect the health of our country. As you know, obesity is taking its toll on the health of our children. But the number of children with cancer, allergies, ADHD, asthma and autism is of equal concern to the health of our families, corporations and our economy.
Since the introduction of genetically engineered foods into our food supply in 1994, the Centers for Disease Control now reports that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of fifteen.
According to an October 2008 report from the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a 265 percent increase in the rates of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions since the introduction of these genetically engineered foods in the late 1990s.
And while correlation is not causation, the body of a child with food allergies sees food proteins as "foreign" and launches an inflammatory response to drive out the "foreign invader." With the introduction of foreign proteins created from agrichemicals into our food supply in 1994, there are now ingredients like artificial growth hormones and insecticidal proteins in our food that weren't there when we were children.
Because there are no long-term human trials to prove the safety of these recently introduced ingredients, parents in other developed countries have been informed of this and these genetically engineered proteins were either not allowed into the food supply, particularly into children's foods, or these novel proteins were labeled so that parents could make an informed choice when it comes to feeding their families.
Here in the United States, however, these novel ingredients were introduced into our food supply without labels in 1994, despite the fact that in 2002 at a government meeting of the Food Biotechnology Subcommittee of the Food Advisory Committee, the committee's acting chair, Edward N. Brandt, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., said "Of course, we haven't worked into this some kind of test for allergencity, per se", prompting renowned allergist, Dr. Fred McDaniel Atkins to say: "To me, the logical problem is that we are going to take that stuff and feed it to the public without their informed consent."
Consequently, and with the utmost sincerity, we urge you to help us introduce legislation that would require the labeling of these novel, genetically engineered proteins and unknown allergens in our food supply so that we may have the same right to “informed consent” when it comes to feeding our families that parents in other countries already enjoy.
Because while our children may only represent 30 percent of the population, they are 100 percent of our future, and in our opinion, there is nothing more patriotic that we could be doing than placing the same value on the lives of the American children that has already been placed on the lives of children in other developed countries and labeling these ingredients so that we can make an informed choice when it comes to protecting our families.
With the kindest regards and heartfelt thanks for your courage and dedication to the health of our children,
Robyn O'Brien and Alyssa Milano
Concerned parents, eaters and caregivers across the country and around the world