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Author Topic: Proposition 37 in California - mandatory labeling of GE food  (Read 584 times)
TK
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« on: August 26, 2012, 08:09:13 AM »


“The future of organic is at stake,” says Mike Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, referring to the escalating threats posed by drift contamination from genetically engineered seeds. He’s not alone here. The momentum behind non-GMO has reached a fever pitch of late, from activist marches and sit-ins across the country to labeling initiatives with real traction at both the state and national levels.

Come November, that fever pitch might just find its voice with Proposition 37, a ballot initiative in California for the mandatory labeling of GE food. The polls now have the odds of passage at 3 to 1. Just as Californians voted for Prop 65 to promote clean water, they now appear poised to pass legislation for upping transparency in their food supply.

The stakes here are huge, so expect a fight. As California goes, so might go the entire U.S. market. Were Prop 37 to pass, major CPGs would soon be faced with the very practical, business-minded decision to consider the unilateral purge of GE ingredients from their packaged fare. Remember just a few years ago when suspicion of genetic engineering was but a folly of the fringe? Times change and they change fast.

But voters are fickle and the fight has only begun. Monsanto wrote a $4 million check last week and the opposition’s coffers swelled to $25 million. This compares to just $3 million for the proponents, with lots of tiny checks written by lots of educated consumers on the hunt for authenticity and transparency in their consumption.

And that’s the real point: Transparency is a tough force to fight. Why bother? Regardless of the outcome of Prop 37, this is clearly a watershed moment for food reformists and the pendulum swing of power from corporation to consumer. It’s a force we discuss at length inside the NEXT Forecast, as it manifests across the industries and trends of the natural products industry.

This is also a watershed moment for the organic industry. Would GE labeling provide that oft dreamed of secular bump to industry sales, or would consumers begin to actually turn away from the category in search of toothier seals like non-GMO? Could Prop 37 finally get organic sales to 10% penetration in the total U.S. food supply, or will Non-GMO Project Verified steal that thunder?

We’ve got some ideas to share inside the report linked above, but what do you think? Does your company take a stance on Prop 37? Should it? Just how dramatically might the world change on Nov. 6 for the manufacturers and consumers of the food we share?






http://newhope360.com/blog/where-do-you-stand-prop-37?cid=nl_nbj_weekly
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TK
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 08:15:51 AM »


Another multimillion-dollar fight over a ballot initiative – with big implications for the country – is brewing here in California. The initiative, which is on the ballot this November, has a mouthful of a name: the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.”

If Proposition 37 passes, California will become the first state in the nation to require that food manufacturers appropriately label all food – raw and processed – that contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). That term refers to scientific procedures that have altered the genetic material in various organisms.

Proponents say that consumers have a right to know what kinds of food they are buying and eating, while opponents say it would produce a system too burdensome on food sellers and distributors and needlessly costly to consumers.

o date, similar labeling laws have failed in 19 states. Also, a law requiring the labeling of bovine growth hormones was struck down in federal court in 1996.

But if California passes the measure, things could change across the United States.

“California is different because of its sheer size,” says Jack Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.  “If manufacturers change national labeling practices to conform to California law, the effects will show up on every grocery shelf in America.”

Whether the initiative is voted up or down, other states are watching for lessons that could include legal strategies and wording, the clarification of economic incentives, and, ultimately, courts’ handling of the issue.

Pitney and others say the measure’s current popularity reflects a broader interest in the purity and safety of foods, which has been seen in the growth of companies such as Whole Foods and the popularity of websites such as Food Safety News.

Proponents see the initiative as common sense.

“We already have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know,” says a primer at the “Yes on 37” website. Prop. 37 "simply adds information telling us if food is produced using genetic engineering ...."

Supporters of the initiative maintain that GMOs have not been proved safe and that the long-term health risks of genetically modified foods have not been adequately investigated.

“There have been NO long-term studies conducted on the safety of genetically engineered foods on humans," the website says.

But Kathy Fairbanks, spokeswoman for “No on 37,” says the measure is full of politically motivated exemptions for special interests. For instance, she says, the measure requires special labels on soy milk but exempts cow milk and dairy products, even though cows are fed genetically engineered grains.

More than 400 studies on biotech, or genetically engineered (GE), crops have been done over the past few decades, and “none have found any ill effects from GE foods,” Ms. Fairbanks says. “The World Health Organization, National Academy of Sciences, FDA, USDA, 25 Nobel laureates, and many others support GE food safety,” she says.

Labels, as outlined in Prop. 37, “would give people the impression something was wrong with the foods when that’s not true,” she says. “Like putting a skull and crossbones on the products.”

No doubt, the initiative is full of highly detailed and nuanced issues that might confuse the general public, analysts say. “As they have before, voters are confronting a complicated issue, with competing scientific claims on both sides,” Professor Pitney says.  “Will they deliberate on the merits of the issue, or will they act on the basis of gut feelings and TV advertising?” Big spending is likely. Already, the “no” side – agribusiness and biotech companies – has spent a reported $25 million to defeat the measure.

“The key variable for Proposition 37 is the spending on either side of the initiative,” says Steven Schier, political scientist at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. “If voters don't fully understand a measure, they tend to vote against it, so the ball is really in [the court of] Proposition 37's proponents.” Indeed, the supporters of Prop. 37 are in a tougher position, says David McCuan, professor of political science at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif. But there are more voters to work with, given it’s a presidential election.
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 09:31:56 AM »

Monsanto is known for bullying farmers who want nothing to do with their GMO seed.  They send out their "seed police" and sue farmers for "patent infringement" when their crap drifts into a non-GMO field.  Wheat, soy, corn, sugar, tomato, alfalfa... isn't what it used to be, yet they try to claim "there's been no long term studies..."  Roll Eyes  F'g, freaky, frankenfood  And we wonder why there's been such a high increase in allergies and other health issues over the past few decades  Roll Eyes    Angry Angry Angry Angry

Sounds like it's going to be a long uphill battle.
 








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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 09:43:55 AM »

February 1st, 2011

By Spence Cooper

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced his decision to authorize the unrestricted commercial cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.

The genetically modified alfalfa was developed by Monsanto and Forage Genetics, an alfalfa seed company owned by the Land O’Lakes farming and dairy cooperative. Monsanto’s alfalfa contains a gene that makes the plant resistant to the herbicide Roundup.

alfalfa sprouted GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableAs the New York Times notes, Alfalfa is grown mostly to make hay fed to dairy cows and horses, and is the nation’s fourth-largest crop by acreage — more than 20 million is grown in the U.S. — behind corn, soybeans and wheat. About 1 percent of alfalfa is organic.

Vilsack trashed plans that would have restricted growing genetically engineered alfalfa to protect organic farmers from biotech contamination. Monsanto and their various placed stooges in Congress and US regulatory agencies are concerned that restricting the growth of GE alfalfa would “undermine Washington’s efforts to persuade other countries to accept genetically modified crops”.

genetically modified food GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableMonsanto Stooges Infiltrate All USGOVT Levels

In what can only be characterized as a nightmare horror film (Invasion of The Body Snatchers), you cannot awake from, Monsanto has succeeded in placing their ghoulish stooges everywhere:

1) Tom Vilsack previously handled litigation for Monsanto Roundup before becoming Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack was hailed as “Governor of the Year” in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the largest biotechnology industry group, and “traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail”.

2) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, also penned the majority decision in a 2001 case that paved the way for companies like Monsanto to patent seeds.

alfalfa seeds GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableLast year, The Supreme Court lifted a nationwide ban on the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa seeds, reversing a 2007 California US District Court ruling that the USDA illegally approved Monsanto’s GE alfalfa without carrying out a full Environmental Impact Statement. Only one Justice dissented — Justice John Paul Stevens.

3) Michael Taylor, our current Food Safety Czar is the former Monsanto executive who crafted the FDA’s GMO friendly policy while serving as the FDA’s Deputy commissioner for policy. It was Taylor who wrote the FDA’s guidelines on recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), banning dairies from labeling their milk “rBGH Free“. This was accomplished despite opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers.

gmo 1 GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableAs Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology points out, Michael Taylor who was in charge of FDA policy in 1992, allowed GMOs on the market without any safety studies and without labeling, and Taylor’s policy claimed that the agency was not aware of any information showing that GMOs were significantly different.

Seven years later, says Smith, because of a lawsuit, 44,000 secret internal FDA memos revealed that that policy was a lie. “Not only were the scientists at the FDA aware that GMOs were different, they had warned repeatedly that they might create allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. But they were ignored, and their warnings were even denied, and the policy went forth allowing the deployment GMOs into the food supply with virtually no safety studies.”

Leaked Wikileaks cables revealed that U.S. officials — in the highest levels of government — are involved in a conspiracy with Monsanto to force the global sale and use of genetically-modified foods.

And in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations, Monsanto has prevented consumer “GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress”.

market1 GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableBetrayal of The Organic Elite

According to the Huffington Post’s Ronnie Cummins, a self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto.

Top executives from these companies, says Cummins, have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

In exchange for becoming Monsanto shills, Whole Foods Market wants “compensation” to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.” Cummins alleges that Whole Foods and their distributor, United Natural Foods, are part of what Cummins calls an “organic food mafia”.

whole foods GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableJohn Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, offers his customers 100 percent organic food, but also pimps GMO wintertime air-freighted mangoes and Argentina asparagus he calls “natural food”.

In fact, “Whole Food’s Dirty Little Secret,” as Cummins puts it, is that most of the so-called “Natural” processed foods and Animal Products they sell are contaminated with GMOs. Whole Foods makes a killing marketing GMO food as “natrual food” by charging premium “organic” prices.

According to Cummins, informed sources disclosed that the CEOs of Whole Foods Market, and Stonyfield are personal friends of Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack’s previous electoral campaigns.

factory farm GM Alfalfa Approved Its Criminal, Evil, and UnacceptableGMO Food and Truth-in-Labeling Laws

We need to place truth-in-labeling initiatives directly on the ballot in 2011 or 2012. If you’re interesting in helping organize or coordinate a Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling campaign in your local community, sign up here.

To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices sign and circulate this petition widely.

http://blog.friendseat.com/gm-alfalfa-approval
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