A group of protesters are driving around Washington, D.C. in cars that feature giant cartoon-like representations of "fishy" Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods. According to Fox D.C., the protesters plan on driving around the nation's capital for the next few days, then embarking on a cross country trip to advocate for the labeling of foods which contain GMOs.
Artist Cesar Maxist designed the vehicles, which he calls the Fishy Fleet. "Fishy," here, means "suspicious" and the characters, Fishy Corn, Fishy Apple and so on, are meant to direct onlookers to AreWeEatingFishyFoods.com, a website featuring the group's warnings about GMOs.
GMOs or "transgenic" organisms are plants or animals which contain DNA, genes or chromosomes that have been altered by chemicals or radiation to produce a specific desired result. While the companies that make these organisms claim that science has shown no specific health risks associated with GMOs, critics of biotechnology argue that no real effort has been made to track and analyze the outcome of exposures to modified foods.
In an interview with the PBS science program NOVA, Jane Rissler of the Union of Concerned Scientists said, "You've heard industry say, for example, that there is no evidence that these foods are harmful. After all, people in the United States have been eating them for several years now. They're now saying, 'Well, there's no evidence of harm.' How would we know if someone had gotten ill from genetically engineered food, if it's not labeled? The absence of evidence is not absence of harm."
The D.C. protesters and others believe that all foods containing GMOs -- or farm animals that were raised on GMO feed -- should be clearly labeled. Activists claim that 64 countries around the world require GMO labeling, but the U.S. and Canada do not.
Fishy Fleet protester Adam Edinger said to Fox, "Basically our group is driving cross country to Seattle, Washington to deposit these fishy food cars with activists there who are going to campaign to label genetically engineered food."
Watch video about this story, embedded below via Fox D.C.: