It’s pretty bad that we can’t easily discern whether the foods we eat contain genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), but a battle is currently being waged in California that may help to change that. Proposition 37 is on the November ballot to decide whether food producers will be required to label the presence of GMO’s in the food supply.
This time last year I wrote about Non-GMO Month and the Right 2 Know March supporting GMO labeling laws. Since then things have pointed towards the showdown taking place in California next month. Here’s a quote from the Cornucopia Institute:
“Democratic and Republican administrations, and Congress, have repeatedly ignored the overwhelming majority of Americans who favor labeling genetically engineered (GE) food in the marketplace. Our politicians seem to be listening to the corporate executives (donors) instead of the citizenry.”
“But in California, the people have a right to craft laws of their choosing. Proposition 37, on the ballot in California on November 6, would mandate labeling of foods containing GE ingredients. If we win this fight in California, manufacturers will likely begin to label food nationally for GE ingredients.”
Let’s Just Label GMO’s and Give Everyone What They Want
You wouldn’t think that such a fight would be necessary… I mean usually when a business creates a new product that is touted to be safe and improved they want consumers to know about it and say so with a bold headline stamped all over the product and associated with all of their marketing efforts.
This hasn’t been the case with GMO’s in our food supply. Whether you realize it or not, GMO’s are present in many of the products on the shelves of every grocery store. The industry effort has been towards keeping us in the dark on this matter and Prop 37 simply seeks to provide the public with the right to know whether or not food products contain GMO’s.
Seems like a win-win situation… If you are comfortable with GMO’s and believe they are safe, labeling will enable you to eat even more of them! If on the other hand you have concerns or simply choose not consume them then labeling will provide you with the transparency to see where they are and aren’t!
Where Does Your Favorite Natural Food Company Stand on the Issue?
How can anyone argue against clearly identifying what is in the food that we eat and allowing consumers the freedom to make a choice? But that is exactly the position that certain businesses have been taking in order to block such labeling laws in the case of genetically modified organisms.
It’s no surprise that companies like Monsanto which create GMO’s would attempt to block labeling if they reasoned that disclosing their presence would be bad for business. What is surprising and being pointed out in a growing number of places are the natural and organic food companies that have stood silent or even supported the efforts to defeat Proposition 37.
The Cornucopia Institute has created the chart shown above (linked here) of companies that have taken positions opposing or supporting the efforts to require the labeling of GMO’s. Natural Food companies found guilty through their associations of contributing funds to fight against these labeling requirements include; Kashi, Cascadian Farm Organic, Silk, Alexia, and Odwalla. Whole Foods tops the list of natural food companies who have remained strangely silent on the matter.
Fortunately there are companies who have taken a stand and contributed funds in support of the GMO labeling efforts! They include; Natures Path, Dr. Bronners, Lundberg, Organic Valley, Earth Balance, Mom’s Organic Market, Earthbound Farm, Tofurky, and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
You Can Help to Get Prop 37 Passed this November
On a positive note, early polling shows that California voters currently support the Prop 37 initiative by a 2 to 1 margin. Unfortunately the business interests opposed to the labeling laws are donating massive amounts of money that will be used for negative advertising in an attempt to change that public opinion and defeat Proposition 37.
What can we do help ensure GMO’s are labeled? If you live in California you can vote “Yes” for Prop 37 in the November election. We all have something at stake so even if you live outside of CA you can share what is going on to bring about labeling laws with your family and friends. You can also make a donation to the Right to Know campaign to help offset the big business influence and assist in promoting awareness of the battle surrounding Prop 37.
Other steps that you can take include signing the petition and supporting those businesses that have taken a stand against or donated money to help in the battle to pass Proposition 37. And if you really want to reduce the likelihood of consuming foods that contain GMO’s the best way is to increase your consumption of whole fruits and veggies, especially those grown organically from heirloom seeds planted right in your own garden!
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