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#1 Old 06-19-2003, 09:49 AM
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I've come to realize I shouldn't technically call myself a vegan. I have recently found out that, even though I've said I was vegan during the past nearly two years, I have messed up tons of times.



For instance, I never thought to look at my vitamins until recently, when I discovered they contain gelatin. But I'm not gonna stop taking them, vegan ones are too expensive. Cheerios and probably a lot of other fortified foods I eat contain animal-derived vitamins. But I'm still eating them. There comes a point where you just have to stop being neurotic. When I eat out I get vegan food, but I don't quiz the waiter like a psychopath, so I'm sure I've inadvertently consumed animal products without realizing it. Many of my household products and toiletries probably either contain animal products or were tested on animals, but I honestly don't see myself replacing all of them. Oh, and I never gave up honey, it's in too many bread and cereals. I never gave up white sugar (processed with bone char) nor beers such as Guinness. I don't buy wool but last year I bought leather shoes cause I could NOT find decent vegan imitations, as sad as I am to say that.



Sometimes I just feel like it's too freakin hard to do this. I can't see myself ever eating meat or drinking milk or eating an egg, even. But I really want some cheese, and soy cheese doesn't cut it.



It is simpler amongst omnis to just say I'm vegan because that's one word to explain that I'm not going to eat meat or cream or milk or whatever. But I feel false. I think I will just start saying I'm strict vegetarian, but that will raise more complicated questions, but at least I'll feel better being honest. The thing is, it is simpler to have a label, but I don't WANT a label. I just have my particular eating habits, peculiar and unorganized as they may seem. Finally, I don't want to let on to my omni friends and family about this, because then it will be like, they won, they were right, I succumbed to their culture. Well, screw that, I shouldn't have to tell anyone or explain myself to anyone.



Does anyone know how I feel? Advice?
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#2 Old 06-19-2003, 10:25 AM
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Call yourself a vegan. I think you are one. Veganism isn't about being ingredient picky, it's about ending cruelty to animals. I personally believe that if there was a hamburger on the ground (well on a plate on the ground) in the middle of nowhere and nobody was going to eat it and you were hungry and you ate it you're still a vegan because if you didn't eat it it would have gone to waste and by eating it you do not hurt any cows or support the meat industry. Also, I think you can eat honey and still be a vegan if you believe that insects don't feel pain. Also, Cheerios does not have any animal products in it (except for maybe honey).

No vegan is perfect. Even film has gelatin in it. However, does that mean you shouldn't take any pictures? Does it mean you should spend $500 on a digital camera? The $500 dollars you spend on a digital camera could be better used going to a non-profit vegan organization. And if you don't take any pictures, you're torturing yourself worse than the 1/1000 of a pig. And think of how much film has helped convert people into veganism!

Instead of ranting about how you're not a perfect vegan, just try to improve yourself. Start researching which companies do and don't test on animals (www.peta.org has a good list, but some of the companies they consider animal testers are clearly not animal testers because they are on a temporary ban (these companies are marked on the companies that test list) like Gillette which hasn't tested on animals for 6 years is marked with a star on the companies that test list so make sure you check both lists. Also, if you want to know what products contain animal ingredients, check a muslim halal site). You can start looking for multivitamins that are cheap and don't have gelatin. Don't attain perfection; just strive for it.
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#3 Old 06-19-2003, 10:33 AM
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I had the same problem. But you should really think of it at a health standpoint. That's what made me completely stop consuming all dairy. I. As far as it foes with vitamins, the vegan ones are very expensive but consuming gelatin just isn't healthy. You'll be paying more to Doctors in the future for health problems rather than buying expensive vitamins. It was the same situation for me when buying produce at the supermarket which contain a lot of pesticides. The harmful of effets of pesticides on your body over the years is nothing compared to paying a little extra money on organic produce.
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#4 Old 06-19-2003, 11:09 AM
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cheerios has vit D.



i went from omni to vegan and when i first started i was really militant about it. then i realized, like you, how much animal products i still consumed with out knowing. then i decided to just stay strict vegetarian till i got the hang of it. its not simple and there is alot of knowledge involved with all the products you use. its not going to happen overnight. just keep doing as much as you feel comfortable with. focus on the positive changes you are making instead of the negative. youre still doing alot.

‎"I just think there's something in being lost. I never feel lost. I just think, 'Oh. I've taken a diversion'." ~ Karl Pilkington
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#5 Old 06-19-2003, 11:09 AM
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I don't believe you're vegan, and I don't think you should say you are. Vegan is a very specific term, and it means strict exclusion of all animal products. (If I'm not mistaken, the American Vegan Society invented the word, so I think they should get to decide what it means.) It's not easy or convenient in many ways, which is why many people, myself included, choose not to take that step.



Do I think there's anything wrong with what you're doing? No. Diet is a personal decision, and your diet actually sounds a lot like mine at the moment. But it's not fair for us to walk around waving a big vegan flag to those who don't really know the difference. IMO, that can make it harder for people who really are vegan to explain their needs to omnis.



When questions are raised about my diet, I usually tell people that I eat *primarily* vegan foods, and exclude *most* animal products from my diet. If they want specific ingredient information, I supply it as needed. If your goal is veganism, then I would explain that too, along with what makes your diet different.



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#6 Old 06-19-2003, 11:16 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nightshade

But it's not fair for us to walk around waving a big vegan flag to those who don't really know the difference. IMO, that can make it harder for people who really are vegan to explain their needs to omnis.





I agree totally, that's why I feel guilty saying vegan, because it f*s it up for real vegans. It's like 'vegetarians' who eat chicken- then their mates turn to me and say, but so-and-so is a vegetarian, and she eats chicken, so can you....i don't want someone to cite me, saying, but katie's a vegan and she eats cheerios, so can you....
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#7 Old 06-19-2003, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by quality1

You'll be paying more to Doctors in the future for health problems rather than buying expensive vitamins. It was the same situation for me when buying produce at the supermarket which contain a lot of pesticides. The harmful of effets of pesticides on your body over the years is nothing compared to paying a little extra money on organic produce.



Exactly. This is one of my favorite arguments.
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#8 Old 06-19-2003, 11:57 AM
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You're doing better than most vegetarians, but you probably shouldn't say you're vegan. I'd say vegetarian, then if some one questions you about something in particular, like eggs, just tell them you're not that kind of vegetarian.



I'm vegan, but I don't have a problem with refined sugar. The only animal products used in the process are garbage. It's recycling waste that would otherwise wind up in a landfill, and I condone that. The same may be true for gelatin, but I'm not sure and I still avoid it.



I don't eat honey because its production screws up the environment. The Africanized "killer" bees would not be an issue if they hadn't mutated with agricultural honey bees, to name one of the ill effects. I don't think the bees themselves actually can tell the difference between freedom and agriculture.



As for interrogating waiters, it's their job to make you comfortable. Quiz away, and if they cop an attitude, don't leave a tip.



It's your life, be as strict or as lenient as you wish. Choose your own lable and defy it as you like.
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#9 Old 06-19-2003, 05:46 PM
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You're vegan if you have reasonable success at avoiding animal products in food, and other materials or products you use.



The amount of gelatin in a vitamin pill is awfully small. You'd probably have to take 2000 pills before you get the amt of gelatin in a bowl of Jell-o.



If you can't avoid products that list honey as an ingredient, but make a reasonable effort to do so, you are vegan. If you actually buy honey, you are not. By the way, since honey is a buzz word that sells products, manufacturers often mention it on the label, even tho the amt is miniscule. Ingredient are listed in order of predominance. You often see, "contains honey" and the ing list says sugar, corn syrup, honey. you can figure that probably there is lots of sugar and corn syrup, and a dash of honey to get themselves out of responsibility for false advertising.



If you want to lie and tell omnis you are vegan, even if you are really not, I am not going to inform on you. Just don't lie to me.



I tell people I am kosher (a kosher vegan) even tho I am really not strictly kosher, tho I would like to be if it wasn't so hard to competely avoid all food that was made in a utensil or served on a plate that once had dairy in it, and another time had flesh in it. I don't feel guilty about it. I want them to worry about serving me vegan food in cooking utensils that they just cooked meat in, and then didn't wash thoroughly.



I suppose one might prefer to say "i do my best to stick to a vegan lifestyle" instead of saying "i am vegan."
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#10 Old 06-19-2003, 06:05 PM
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<------- note my title....

Nec Aspera Terrent
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#11 Old 06-19-2003, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by soilman

The amount of gelatin in a vitamin pill is awfully small. You'd probably have to take 2000 pills before you get the amt of gelatin in a bowl of Jell-o.




Thanks, soilman, I needed to hear that. I just ran out of vitamins, and have been debating on whether or not to buy the veg caplets. I really can't afford them, heck, I can barely afford store brand vitamins! Same with organic produce. Believe me, if I could afford it, everything I buy would be organic! I just can't, though.
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#12 Old 06-19-2003, 06:22 PM
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Do what you can, when you can. As I say, it is better to eat meat six days a week than seven. You're making an effort to reduce animal suffering, and that is great. Don't worry if you have trouble in some areas. Just do what you can.
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#13 Old 06-19-2003, 06:26 PM
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Everyone -



Don't be too concerned if you have to take a gel-cap sometimes because of money. Or if you're not sure if the pasta has egg whites in it and the waiter doesn't know.



You cannot be a perfect vegan and you will drive yourself crazy if you feel guilt over everything you may or not may be eating. Be the best vegan you can be. Simple as that.



I won't be sending the vegan police after you. Most of us won't.
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#14 Old 06-19-2003, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb

I won't be sending the vegan police after you. Most of us won't.



Yeah, but what about that one bad seed?
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#15 Old 06-19-2003, 06:53 PM
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That one bad seed is usually the Almight Vegan Police (tm) and most of us just ignore them anyways.
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#16 Old 06-19-2003, 07:29 PM
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I have the same problem. I call myself vegan but I'm not. I mean I am...I mean...



Ok the way I see it no one can tell me I'm vegan or not. Sure there is a definition of the word but you have to do as much as you can. Sometimes I feel guilty because some ingredients slip by me. Personally I think my problem lies with just not being smart about reading the ingredients list. I think I'm just being crazy about it. I mean I don't eat honey or meat, cheese, dairy, gelatin, etc. Of course I don't wear fur or leather. I do however still have makeup that contains beeswax and possibly other animal ingredients (never tested on animals) so am I vegan? I never know how to answer that.



Either way just do what you can for now. I do believe in the saying that every little bit helps.
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#17 Old 06-19-2003, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nightshade

I don't believe you're vegan, and I don't think you should say you are. Vegan is a very specific term, and it means strict exclusion of all animal products. (If I'm not mistaken, the American Vegan Society invented the word, so I think they should get to decide what it means.) It's not easy or convenient in many ways, which is why many people, myself included, choose not to take that step.



Actually the UK Vegan Society "invented" the term in 1944

This is their website: The Vegan Society



Below is from their FAQ Page.

Everyone is going to interpret this using their own filters.

(just like the bible)

I interpret this to mean "do whatever you can" (which is also interpeted in a variety of ways I guess).

They certainly don't sound like purists (for us or against us) type folks.



********************

Q.1: What is a vegan?



A: Vegans, like other vegetarians, do not eat the bodies of animals. In addition, vegans do not consume milk, eggs or honey. More broadly, veganism is a way of life which seeks to avoid exploitation of or cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Most vegans do not wear leather, wool or silk.

******************
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#18 Old 06-19-2003, 07:57 PM
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Katieq,



Never say, never! (I think Peter Pan would agree with me also)!



You may one day give up those foods that you mentioned above. Try some alternatives ie. stevia for sugar, brown rice syrup for honey etc. You'd be surprised to find that there are so many wonderful tasting vegan alternatives out there. Give it a shot and who knows, maybe your taste buds will really like it!
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#19 Old 06-19-2003, 08:32 PM
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Not all sugars use bone char, fyi
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#20 Old 06-19-2003, 09:00 PM
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katieq, please try not to judge yourself so harshly, there is no such thing as a perfect vegan... really. veganism is a journey and a goal... not a noun/adjective or title. i have an arthritic cat, i give her two glucosimine pills a day (made from fish bones) i have leftover leather shoes (6 to 10 years old) that i intend to wear till they fall apart... i was lacto-ovo for 6 years before deciding to drop dairy-egg... change dosen'y happen overnight, especially not lasting change. don't worry about what the vegan police think... in some peoples eyes you will never be vegan enough. by calling yourself a vegan you are at least making omnis aware of options besides animal cruelty... at the very least that is something!
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#21 Old 06-19-2003, 10:40 PM
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I have always thought that veganism was more of a lifestyle and a philosophical/moral approach to the world than a diet. Being a vegan (at least to me) means that you do your best to reduce animal suffering. If you focus strictly on diet, then you're a vegetarian, not a vegan. You can accidentally consume an animal product and still be a vegan. So you didn't know Cheerios had D3. Neither did I. But I'm not going to say, "oops, I guess I'm not a vegan" because I was eating them for the last year. I am still committed to reducing crueltly. Therefore, I, and you, are still vegan.
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#22 Old 06-19-2003, 10:50 PM
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/cheers Charity
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#23 Old 06-19-2003, 11:27 PM
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Here we go again with what to call ourselves....



I think you are doing great! I think that now you know some other things you can look out for and that's great.



My veganism is a journey. I didn't decide to do it all at once, and I've learned a LOT of things along the way...what to avoid, etc. It's not really hard unless you actually believe you can be perfect all the time if you really really try.



None of us are perfect. We all just do our best.



B
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#24 Old 06-19-2003, 11:59 PM
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There comes a point where you just have to stop being neurotic. When I eat out I get vegan food, but I don't quiz the waiter like a psychopath, so I'm sure I've inadvertently consumed animal products without realizing it.8



Wow.....do I know how you feel. I think you just said EVERYthing I have been feeling for the past few months. It is soo much work and extremely hard to stay on track when you are surrounded by people who hardly think about what they put into their mouths. For instance...if you read my honey debate post, I was glad to be informed, but that means a whole list of things I have to eliminate from my daily life...I don't use honey a whole lot...I never really cared for it, but it means another 30 products I can't buy at the store. And I know I'm not FORCED to give it up, but I don't want to lie and say I'm something I'm not. But it is just easier to say "I'm vegan" if someone asks, than going into detail about what my diet consists of--what I do and don't eat and why...I have gone as far to replace all of my "beauty" products, cleaners, paper towels, etc...to organice, natural ones. They really aren't that much more expensive, and it really does make a difference in my daily life. I feel more balanced integrating my diet and beliefs into every aspect of my life. You can get some great things (shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc...) that work much better than all of the processed, chemical infused crap you find at the grocery store. There is a great website....(I think anyway) Gaiam.com...It also depends on your choices for going vegan. Is it for ethical/environmental reasons, and/or for animal welfare issues? My reasons are purely, environmental and animal welfare related. Not only is our lifestlye great for the lives of animals, but it is good for the whole environment.

When I do feel frustrated, as you seem to feel I try to pick up one of my books and read. It inspires me and reinforces my reasons for doing this in the first place. Don't be so hard on yourself if you do "cheat." It is your perogative, and everyone has bad days. Sometimes that soy cheese just doesn't stand a chance next to fresh mozzarella... But, look at everyday as a new beginning and a chance to start over. Hey, you've come a lot farther than most people, and you should feel proud for having such strong beliefs to to make an extreme change in you life. Read, read, and read....It always makes me feel better! Some great books....The Mad Cowboy, Fast Food Nation, Ishmael (not necessarily a "vegan" book, but a great book none the less), The Food Revolution...I could go on forever, but this post is long enough. Don't give up! And know that everyone feels that way, or at least I do!
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#25 Old 06-20-2003, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Actually the UK Vegan Society "invented" the term in 1944



Thanks for the correction, dvmarie. I feel like an now. *lol* However...



Quote:
Q.1: What is a vegan?

A: Vegans, like other vegetarians, do not eat the bodies of animals. In addition, vegans do not consume milk, eggs or honey.



I don't see how that can be interpreted any other way. It doesn't say, "Vegans don't eat milk or eggs but if they feel like honey is okay to eat or only in trace amounts, that's fine. Ooh, and sometimes you just have to eat some (insert random animal product)." The rest of the definition is fairly open, but to me, that core statement is the most important and defining one.



But of course, I am picking nits. I personally think the whole thing is tied up in a silly label game (which I'm now actively contributing to ). Eat what makes you happy!



~NS~
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#26 Old 06-21-2003, 07:03 AM
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thanks guys. you're all making me feel a lot better. i've read a bunch of vegan books in the past, and i think it's time i gave them a look again, to renew my beliefs and practices. being vegan by joanne stepaniak (?) and vegan the new ethics of eating by erik marcus.



also, yesterday at work some girl that i can't stand was asking me about being vegan because she is considering trying it, and talking about it made me realize how far i've come, how much i know, and how much i want to keep doing it.



btw i already use stevia and maple syrup when i can, and i've started avoiding the cheerios my roommates stock in the cabinet....i think part of the problem is living with people and being friends with people who will eat anything, it makes me think, damn, i want that too....but if i sit and remind myself what they're really eating, it usually passes.



but screw the vitamins i say, i agree that it's got to be an only miniscule amount. and i've always said screw the film thing, what am i supposed to do, not look at a photograph again, a magazine, a movie, a television? (i'm being facetious, obviously).
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#27 Old 06-21-2003, 08:35 PM
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I feel bad every time I say I'm vegan, because it must be so insulting to 'TRUE VEGANS' who are SO SO strict about it. But I consider myself a vegan, just because I am making a conscious effort to avoid animal products. I eliminate A LOT, but sometimes, I give into my craving and just HAVE TO HAVE SOME IC CREAM!!



But even then, seldom do I treat myself to non-vegan friendly products, ya know? I realy do try...for now, I'm not 100% vegan....maybe someday I will be!



Just do the best that you can, it all makes a difference



~katy~
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#28 Old 06-22-2003, 08:50 PM
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a little off topic: So, I know about Vitamin D, but are there other vitamins I should avoid as a vegan?

Thanx.



-LINDS
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#29 Old 06-22-2003, 09:59 PM
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i think you cna still call yourself a vegan.



veganism is what you make it. Everyone has their limits.
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#30 Old 06-22-2003, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by coxy

I feel bad every time I say I'm vegan, because it must be so insulting to 'TRUE VEGANS' who are SO SO strict about it. But I consider myself a vegan, just because I am making a conscious effort to avoid animal products. I eliminate A LOT, but sometimes, I give into my craving and just HAVE TO HAVE SOME IC CREAM!!



But even then, seldom do I treat myself to non-vegan friendly products, ya know? I realy do try...for now, I'm not 100% vegan....maybe someday I will be!



Just do the best that you can, it all makes a difference



~katy~



I'm not sure "true vegans" are so much insulted as they are worried that their food supply will become contaminated.



If the word "vegan' loses its strict meaning, then we go back to reading labels again at the grocery store.



How would you like it if the non-GMO or organic labels were "what you made them?" What would be the point of having them, from the customers' point of view? The companies could get away with putting whatever they want into the food and they could call it what they want, so long as it suits their own needs and ethics. See the problem?
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