The fight of our lives

Yeah, I’d say that beating back this particular company (who poisons our food supply by buying off politicians) is pretty damned important:

This November, in a food fight that will largely determine the future of what we eat and what we grow, Monsanto will face its greatest challenge to date: a statewide citizens’ ballot initiative that will give Californians the opportunity to vote for their right to know whether the food they buy is contaminated with GMOs.

A growing corps of food, health, and environmental activists – supported by the Millions against Monsanto and Occupy Monsanto Movements, and consumers and farmers across the nation – are boldly moving to implement mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods in California through a grassroots-powered citizens ballot initiative process that will bypass the agribusiness-dominated state legislature. If passed, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and outlaw the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

Passage of this initiative on November 6 will radically alter the balance of power in the marketplace, enabling millions of consumers to identify – and boycott – genetically engineered foods for the first time since 1994, when Monsanto’s first unlabeled, genetically-engineered dairy drug, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), was forced on the market.

As Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director for the Organic Consumers Association, pointed out at an Occupy Wall Street teach-in in Washington DC in early April: “The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act ballot initiative is a perfect example of how the grassroots 99% can mobilize to take back American democracy from the corporate bullies, the 1%. By aggressively utilizing one of the last remaining tools of direct democracy, the initiative process (available to voters not only in California and 23 other states, but in thousands of cities and counties across the nation), we can bypass corrupt politicians, make our own laws, and force corporations like Monsanto to bend to the will of the people, in this case granting us our fundamental right to know what’s in our food.”

One thought on “The fight of our lives

  1. I’m in California, and I can’t wait to vote for this.

    But the laws should have been for labelling form the very outset. At this point, we’re screwed, because the genetic material doesn’t stay put. It’s spread everywhere by now.

    I was trying to find some non-GMO soybeans for basic bio lab, so the students could run tests on +GMO and -GMO and see the difference in the DNA pattern on a gel. Should have been simple. But every batch of commercial soybeans, even organic from Whole Foods, came up somewhat positive. The only actual negatives came from someone’s backyard who saved seed and had been replanting that. They were in a suburb, far from any other soybean growers, so there hadn’t been enough cross-contamination to show up.

    So, how are we going to implement the labeling? If it’s by genetic testing, practically all the food we eat will come up positive. (Soybeans are huge in animal feeds and loads of processed foods.) If you decide there’s going to be a cut-off below which the food isn’t officially GMO, people will argue to set the limit so high, it’ll be meaningless. If labelling is required only for farmers who purposely bought GMO seeds or transplants, there’ll be objections that it’s not fair because then plenty of officially non-GMO food will have just as high a level of the offending GMO genes.

    It’s a mess. We really need labelling, and late is better than never because it might make people wake up. But there’s a big element of locking the barn door when the horse has made it all the way to Outer Mongolia.

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