|This November, Californians will vote on a question that affects all of us – do we have the right to know what’s in our food?|
Ethan A. Huff
September 19, 2012
In fewer than two months, Californians will have the unique opportunity to vote YES on Proposition 37, a ballot measure that will require retail food items made with or containing genetically-modified (GM) ingredients to be labeled as such. And in the face of concerted opposition to GMO labeling by Monsanto and the corporate food industry, which would rather keep the presence of GMOs in your food a secret, it is important that voters are aware of why passing a law requiring mandatory GMO labeling is crucial to food freedom.
As compiled by Hemi Weingarten over at the blog Fooducate.com, here are 37 reasons why California’s Prop. 37 ballot measure must pass:
1) The alleged environmental superiority of GM crops is questionable at best, and GMO production still requires the heavy use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
2) A popular misconception, selective breeding and hybridization are not the same thing as genetic modification. GMOs contain foreign genes for which the harmful side-effects are largely unknown.
3) Contrary to popular belief, there has never been a single long-term safety study conducted on any GMO.
4) Cultivation of GMOs leads to the proliferation of herbicide-resistant “superweeds,” for which there are no known solutions.
5) Monsanto, the largest purveyor of GMOs, is responsible for thrusting Agent Orange on the world — can this chemical company really be trusted?
6) Labeling GMOs will not increase food costs, as GMOs have been labeled throughout Europe for more than a decade without consequence.
7) Animal studies have shown that GMOs cause sterility within three generations — are GMOs really something we should be feeding our children?
8) There have been no long-term studies on the environmental impact of GMO cultivation.
9) GMOs are produced using “terminator” seeds, requiring farmers to buy new seeds every year from biotechnology firms.
10) GM corn, which is used in livestock feed, has been shown to severely harm animals — what must it be doing to humans?
11) GMO labeling has nothing to do with excessive government intervention and regulation, and everything to do with promoting honesty and transparency.
12) More than 90 percent of Americans in numerous surveys have indicated they support mandatory GMO labeling.
13) GM crops have never been shown to produce higher yields than conventional and organic crops, despite industry propaganda.
14) GMOs are extremely expensive to produce, which means the biotech industry is eager to market them whether they are proven safe or not.
15) Passage of Prop. 37 will boost sales for small manufacturers and producers, and increase crop diversity. It will steer agriculture away from the corporations and back into the hands of local communities.
16) Many GMOs contain inbred genes and pesticides that cannot simply be washed off before consumption. Bt corn, for instance, contains its own built-in pesticides.
17) GM crops poison useful insects, which become more prone to deadly infections and disease.
18) GMO cultivation is creating “superbugs” that are quickly evolving to develop resistance to pesticides.
19) GMOs contaminate non-GMOs through cross-pollination, a process that cannot be undone.
20) GMO cultivation eliminates biodiversity and ruins the heritage of farming wherever it is introduced.
21) Once introduced into the environment, GMOs can never be withdrawn.
22) Since GMOs were first introduced, rates of allergies and autoimmune disease have skyrocketed — coincidence?
23) All studies that claim GMOs are safe have been industry-funded. All studies that raise serious concerns about GMO safety have been independently funded.
24) The companies responsible for producing GMOs do not want them labeled — why?
25) The scientific community is divided on whether or not GMOs are safe, so how is it ethical for them to remain unlabeled?
26) GM crops are not the same as their non-GMO counterparts, both nutritionally and compositionally.
27) Consumers have a right to know whether or not they are eating GMOs.
28) Studies showing health consequences of GMO consumption are being blocked from scientific publication.
29) GMOs eliminate biodiversity and deplete soil nutrients.
30) GM traits have been shown to induce allergy transfer. Eating a GM soybean that contains a Brazil nut trait, for instance, can induce Brazil nut allergy.
31) Passage of Prop. 37 will cause major food manufacturers to improve product quality.
32) How can individuals be expected to “eat healthy” if they do not even know what their food contains?
33) Passage of Prop. 37 will cause a “ripple effect” throughout the U.S., benefiting everyone.
34) Passage of Prop. 37 is a bipartisan issue — no matter what your political affiliation, you have a right to know what is in your food!
35) Big Ag and Big Biotech are spending tens of millions of dollars to spread lies about Prop. 37′s “deceptive” nature — who are the ones really doing the deceiving here?
36) Revolving door between government and industry has prevented GMO labeling in the U.S. for almost 20 years — is it not time for the people to have their voices heard?
37) Transparency is the best way to “air out corruption,” for which the biotech industry is fraught.
Sources for this article include: