The GMO labeling battle in California is heating up ahead of November’s general election Proposition 37 vote, which calls for mandatory labels, and the big food corporations that have bankrupted America’s collective health are pushing their chips to the center of the table.
The race for truth in labeling food products containing GMOs, which include mainly corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, cottonseed oil and a few others, looks as if it will come down to big money vs. a massive, growing grassroots movement of people power.
How much money, to be exact? Nearly $10 million has been ponied up to anti-Prop 37 campaigns by the likes of GMO crop producer Dupont Pioneer ($2,441,500), Bayer Cropscience ($1,064,000) and BASF Plant Science ($996,500). Other donations include $500,000 each from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle USA, General Mills and ConAgra. Other major donations have been made by various food companies including Kellogg’s which was recently (and still is) the target of a strong persistent media boycott effort.
GMOs cross-contaminate other crops, are linked to serious allergies, weight gain, sterility, and even organ damage. They are banned in several other countries and labeled in many more, which raises the question of why the United States doesn’t have the type of transparency that so many other countries do so consumers can avoid the GMO-laced products if they so choose.
The products sell because of deception and deception only, however. Many of the big food producers donating money to an elaborate ruse of a campaign designed to overstate the amount of money it will cost to add a tiny label to a product are involved with the creation of so-called “natural” products containing GMO corn and other similar substances. Lawsuits have sprung up to fight against this sort of “natural” labeling deception.
People within the burgeoning GMO-free movement know that companies that sell GMOs, which were created by patented seeds designed to become sterile after each planting season so that farmers must buy them back each year, would not be successful if consumers really knew what they were buying.
A famous quote from an executive within the GMO industry confirms that:
“If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” – said Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, as quoted in the Kansas City Star newspaper on March 7, 1994.
Due to the relative silence of the corporate media, GMOs have been allowed to proliferate in America even as other countries, especially most of the European Union, have seen their citizens protest against them en masse, even resorting to tactics such as burning or stomping them when all else failed.
To the GMO-free movement, labeling such products is considered the absolute minimum, yet an important first step to stopping the rampant cross contamination, health risks and economic devastation being unleashed by genetically modified crops. A California labeling win could set off a chain reaction in other states and huge sales losses for companies that continue to put profit above the health of people and planet alike.
For more information on the Right to Know campaign and to help in the fight against big business to label GMOs, visit http://www.carighttoknow.org/.
Nicholas Tomasi is an AP-Award winning journalist and author turned health researcher. He currently runs AltHealthWORKS , a website dedicated to alternative medicine, organic food and the GMO-free movement.