by Jan Woods –
GUEST COMMENTARY – People want the right to know what is in their food. But powerful interests with long histories of deceiving the public, endangering human health, and polluting our planet are trying to deny us this basic right. How? The usual way–by throwing huge amounts of money, to the tune of $38 million, to be used to fog up television airtime, radio waves and voters’ cognitive abilities with deceptive T.V. and radio commercials.
Led by Monsanto ($7.1 million and counting), DuPont (4.9 million), PepsiCo, Nestle, Hershey, and Kellogg, a host of chemical and junk food manufacturers have donated huge sums of money to defeat the YES on 37 campaign, hoping voters will go into the booths on November 6 thoroughly confused about the true nature of Proposition 37, the California Right to Know /Label GMO Proposition.
In contrast, the YES on 37 campaign urges everyone to research and think for themselves. In doing so you will find that over 50 countries worldwide–61 at the last count–already have some form of labeling laws for GMOs in place, including 27 countries in Europe, and also Japan, China, Turkey, Hungary, Russia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. You will also find that the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization/United Nations have said that mandatory safety studies on GMOs should be required and conducted by independent scientists– a standard the US has failed to meet. A National Academy of Sciences report concludes that products of GMO technology “carry the potential for introducing compositional changes that may have adverse effects on human health.” And the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has urged all physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets for their patients.
Research will also reveal that the companies that oppose this truth in labeling law, like the tobacco companies before them, have a long history of deceit and harm-for-profit practices. The companies who oppose labeling GMOs–Monsanto, DuPont, etc.– have also brought, to us and to planet earth, DDT, Agent Orange, PCBs, dioxin, glyphosate (highly toxic poison in Roundup), aspartame (linked to brain tumors) recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and, now, genetically modified organisms (GMO). These companies have sworn up and down, time and again, that their products were harmless–and time and again, the preponderance of evidence over time has showed they lied. It is no small leap in logic to believe they know GMOs are also not harmless. They are surely trying to cover up something with $38 million ( as compared with the 3.5 million raised from mostly small donations by the Yes on 37 campaign). These companies also sued farmers for saving seed and sued farmers when their lands became contaminated by biotech “owned and patented” GMO seeds from neighboring farms. The main motive of the companies opposing truth in labeling/YES on Prop 37 is to create more profit for themselves at any cost: to sell more contaminated seeds, more pesticides and more junk food to an American public deliberately kept in the dark as these corporations gain more and more control over our food supply, which they contaminate at will.
If you have yet to decide how to vote on Prop 37, stop and ask yourself whom you would believe : the corporations, who have everything to lose by your knowing the full truth about the food you eat, or a coalition of mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, teachers, farmers, scientists,doctors, business-owners, students,and concerned citizens who have initiated and who champion Prop 37.
When you go to the voting booth this November, bring your common sense, your conscience–and remember your history. Please vote “yes” on Proposition 37.
One final word about some other practical aspect of YES on Prop 37: European labeling of GMO “did not result in increased costs, despite the horrifying (double-digit) prediction of some interests,” according to David Byrne, former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection. The only independent study on the economic impact of Prop 37, by Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Professor at Emory University School of Law, concluded: “Consumers will likely see no increases in prices as a result of the labeling law required.”http://www.anh-usa.
Other links containing information on GMOs and Proposition 37: