Commentary: Millions to kill Calif. GMO labeling

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The California organization heading up the campaign to pass required labeling, designating any food possibly containing a genetically modified component as a genetically engineered food, has sent a news release naming major contributors trying to defeat the labeling requirement.

Proposition 37 on the California ballot would require labeling of any food that might contain GMO ingredients, including everything from soybean meal from Roundup Ready crops to sweet corn resistant to insects.

The group pushing for labeling notes that a huge number of major agricultural-based companies, either those supporting growers who produce the crops or those who process ingredients into finished products, have stepped forward to financially support messages that counter the half-truths and distorted perspective of Proposition 37 supporters. The California Right to Know campaign claims $25 million has been donated so far to defeat Proposition 37.  

The news release has a tone that any company opposed to Proposition 37 is being run by the devil in disguise, and the companies have no concern about the health of the U.S or world’s population.  

“The giant pesticide and food companies are afraid of the mothers and grandmothers who want the right to know what’s in our food,” said Stacy Malkan, media director of California Right to Know. “These companies will try to buy the election, but it won’t work.”

Obviously the proponents are wrapping themselves in the flag and indicating labeling is as American as mom’s non-GMO apple pie.

It also apparently frustrates the Proposition 37 proponents that only one of the biggest contributors is California based, and they don’t have a lot of opportunities to stage home office demonstrations against contributing companies.

The group does not seem to recognize the nationwide repercussions of one-state mandatory labeling and the probability that a huge percentage of processed foods would have to use the "may contain GMO" wording because of wide spread production of these crops. It seems more logical for those companies definitely not using GMOs to proclaim such on their labels.

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Illinois  |  August, 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

The problem with the round-up ready crops is it increases the amount of round-up sprayed. Before Monsanto's GMO, you could only spray glycolphosphates on the weeds, now you can spray it right on the crops. Can yo see the difference? What could possibly go wrong? New studies are finding that glycolphosphates are more toxic than we thought. At very low levels in foods, there are hormone like effects. This is not researched enough, and the study I read was new and from German researchers down to the ppm level of glycolphosphates and their adjuvants. I am looking for the link to the study, it was very good.

Canada  |  August, 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM

It is really simple. The people spending the money overwhelmingly want to know what they are spending it on. There is no valid reason to deny consumers the right to know what is in their food. I currently avoid 100% of processed foods as I wish to avoid GMOs until there is some real science either supporting or denying the safety of these ingredients. I also purchase GMO-free feed for all of my livestock. While I don't claim to be an expert, I understand just enough to have some concerns.

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