We all Lost on Labeling Initiative

Posted November 13th, 2012 by kerri and filed in small house living
Tags: , ,
12 Comments

I was very dis­ap­pointed that Proposition 37 – the bill that would have required all Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) to be labeled– did not pass in California last week.

Why, you might ask, since we live in Arkansas.

It’s sim­ple. Food com­pa­nies likely wouldn’t have devel­oped spe­cial pack­ag­ing just for California and would have labeled all of their brands to the state’s standards.

Therefore, if we wanted to know if we were buy­ing GMO food, we all lost last week.

This story, from the L.A. Times, pretty much lays it all out. Companies such as Monsanto, Dow and even Pepsico spent $46 mil­lion in a David vs. Goliath ad cam­paign against smaller organic inter­ests for label­ing, which only was able to spend $9 mil­lion in the last two weeks of the campaign.

I could see the Evil Empire of chem­i­cal com­pa­nies were suc­ceed­ing when I posted a Facebook link to the propo­si­tion a cou­ple of weeks before the elec­tion and an oth­er­wise smart per­son who I am con­nected to par­roted the ads by the “no” cam­paign giants by say­ing the bill was poorly writ­ten and would place an undue bur­den on small grow­ers and food companies.

Look, as I've writ­ten before, I do not know if GMOs are safe or not. What I do know is that not enough research has been done on them and that most of Europe, which has banned GMO foods, doesn't think so either.

Most impor­tantly, I want to know what I am eating.

I also know what the sci­en­tists are say­ing. Why did Dow have a dog in this fight? Because GMO foods are grown as such because they are resis­tant to cer­tain kinds of insects. Although we also know that these insects are becom­ing resis­tant to the GMOs.

This story on the Huffington Post site describes how that resis­tance is actu­ally lead­ing to more pes­ti­cide being used, instead of less. That’s what dog Dow has in this fight.

When I was a young 20-something pro­fes­sional, I actu­ally sat on a fed­eral jury in a trial in which Dow was suing a smaller pes­ti­cide com­pany. Dow was a giant in the indus­try com­pared to the other com­pany, and the giant’s lawyer so well trained he could rat­tle off quotes from thick stacks of depo­si­tions with­out even hav­ing to look them up.

They are able to put a lot of money into some­thing when they want to win; they trot out their best lawyers and put on their best ads.  It didn't take the jury very long to rule in Dow’s favor, we were all wowed by the show.

It’s too bad the major­ity of California vot­ers were as well.

What do you think of the defeat of Proposition 37?

12 Responses to “We all Lost on Labeling Initiative”

    • Kerri says:

      That right there is the issue. a). GMOs have not had sig­nif­i­cant stud­ies done on their safety. That is why all of the coun­tries in the European Union have banned them. b). It is now known that GMOs, which were devel­oped to resists cer­tain pests are now mak­ing those pests immune from them. That is the rea­son they are actu­ally requir­ing *more* pes­ti­cide, and more pes­ti­cide is never a good thing.

  1. Alexandra says:

    I'm back to share a let­ter my son in Los Angeles received today, which I thought would be of interest:

    "Thank you so much for sign­ing this petition.

    I have to admit I have learned a great deal since start­ing it.

    ALL VOTES ON PROP 37 WILL BE COUNTED, not because of our peti­tion, but because it is required by law that all votes be counted. The coun­ties have until December 7 to report the vote and Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, has until December 14 to cer­tify the vote.

    The final results WILL BE PUBLISHED, so every vote cast on Prop 37 will be honored.

    Because of the impor­tance of this issue nation­ally, I am research­ing how to have an effec­tive peti­tion at a national level.

    Thank you, once again, for tak­ing a stand on this impor­tant issue."

  2. Alexandra says:

    Every week I seem to read a new story about the dan­gers of pes­ti­cides. Now that GMO crops, Roundup Ready crops, are not prov­ing as resis­tant as pre­vi­ously thought, farm­ers are obliged to use MORE pes­ti­cides, not less. Those pes­ti­cides get in our aquifers. I was very dis­ap­pointed that Prop 37 did not pass, but it is impor­tant to remem­ber that those in favor were almost as numer­ous as those against. The rea­son peo­ple voted against it was the adver­tis­ing, which was full of false­hoods. There should be a law against that type of thing. Prop 37 did not OUTLAW GMOs, it only required labels. I agree with you that we all need to con­sider why the chem­i­cal indus­try poured mil­lions into the cam­paign to defeat the label­ing cru­sade and why Big Chem doesn't want us to know what we are eat­ing. Thanks for writ­ing about this topic. It is so impor­tant! Eat organic is my mantra. I hope the move­ment will try again, nationwide.

  3. I still can't believe peo­ple would say they don't want to know what is in their food. And the amount of money that was spent to cam­paign against this can­not pos­si­bly equal what it would cost to do the label­ing. The Dow con­nec­tion is scary.

  4. Rick says:

    I was a bit let down by the results. But I guess the end result is to take action myself, where pos­si­ble. If it is in a gro­cery store, is pro­duced by a national brand, and con­tains corn and/or soy, there is a very good chance it con­tains GMO and I will avoid it. I will do what I can to stick to the outer walls of the store where pro­duce, meat, and dairy prod­uct reside. As the old say­ing goes, I will vote with my money.