The Right to Know If It’s GMO

A slightly different version of this post
was first published on Know Thy Health.
Used with permission.

Here in California, Big Ag, Big Food and other GMO backers continue to assault us with their anti-Prop. 37 propaganda.

prop·a·gan·da, n.
1. The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.

You see, these folks are very, very worried that we’re being mislead about the miracle of faux-food. They don’t want us to be confused.

In that case, you’d think they’d be all for Prop 37, because all it does is clear things up. Specifically, Specifically, it requires that raw or processed food “made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways” be labeled as such. Exemptions are made for alcoholic beverages and foods that

  1. Are “certified organic.”
  2. Are unintentionally produced with GMOs.
  3. Are made from animals given GMOs but are not genetically modified themselves.
  4. Contain trace amounts of GMOs.
  5. Are given for medical treatment.
  6. Are sold for immediate consumption.

It also prohibits labeling or advertising GMO foods as “natural.”

Scary stuff, huh?

Really, it all boils down to the right to know what’s in food we don’t grow or make for ourselves. If GMOs are safe and wonderful, corporations should have no qualms about people knowing when they’re buying GMO (and when they’re not). Indeed, at least one scientist who worked on the first GMO tomato, Belinda Martineau, is on the record as saying that the biggest industry misstep has been to resist disclosure.

Not labeling, she says, makes the industry look like it has something to hide. She believes labeling is an opportunity.

“This is one of the best ways the industry can turn public opinion around, is to be honest, to be transparent. And to come out and be proud of their products.”

But, of course, there is mounting evidence that GMO foods do carry health risks. Industry understands that even suspicion of a problem might keep people from buying their products.

Hence, its heavy investment in the campaign against transparency – over $34 million to date (vs. less than $4 million by those who favor labeling). After all, quite a few of them have bought up organic and other “natural” brands, seeing as how more and more Americans are demanding more wholesome food. This is nicely illustrated in The Cornucopia Institute’s latest infographic of funders for each side of the battle. (More here) They’re also making it known who’s MIA: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Newman’s Own, Hain and Driscoll.

As they say, as California goes, so, eventually, goes the nation. We hope this proves true once again.

Read more about Prop. 37 and its implications:

Previously

Image by MillionsAgainstMonsanto, via Flickr

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