Tag Archives: right to know

After Prop. 37…

Prop. 37’s defeat was a disappointment to those of us who value the right to know and who care about the quality of our food, our health and the environment. It remains up to us to do our homework, ask questions and stay informed so we can make good choices while shopping.

One of the simplest things we can do is support those brands, corporations and stores that support the right to know – and think twice about whether we really want to support those that oppose it. The Cornucopia Institute’s Prop. 37 donor posters are a fine reference:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

There are a number of good shopping guides out there, such as this one from the Center for Food Safety and the Institute for Responsible Technology. There are also many good online resources for finding quality, GMO-free foods and other products both here in Southern California and nationally:

  • The LA Times’ guide offers info on farmers’ markets from Santa Clarita to Temecula, Long Beach to Ontario. While not all vendors deal in organics, a great many do – and, of course, you can speak directly to those who grew the food and learn as much as you care to know about how it was raised.
  • To find local food elsewhere in the state, use the directory provided by the California Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets.
  • Of course, farmers’ markets aren’t your only option. Local Harvest is a directory of family farms, CSA programs, restaurants and other sources of local, organic food.
  • Likewise, the Eat Well Guide can help you find sellers of local, sustainably raised food across the US and Canada. Listings range from farms to restaurants to bakers, butchers and stores.
  • For finding non-GMO foods and products of all sorts, the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide is a terrific resource.
  • Finally, there’s the Good Guide, which features an even wider array of products, with ratings to separate the truly green from the greenwashed.

There is one good thing that’s come out of the fight over Prop. 37: more people than ever are aware of issues around GMOs and the power of agribusiness and the food industry. That progress is nicely illustrated by this infographic just released by the Non-GMO Project:

Click to enlarge

Of course, if you have a rebellious, culture-jamming streak, you could always start labeling it yourself

Cross-posted (modified)

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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:


Image by MillionsAgainstMonsanto, via Flickr

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