By Dr. Mercola
I'm pleased to announce that the Money Bomb Against Monsanto has been officially launched!
Yes, it is official.
Volunteers and staff from the California Right to Know Campaign are submitting nearly 1 million signed petitions from registered voters across the state of California to county officials, to place Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the Ballot for November 6.
Starting May 1, and extending through May 26, a broad coalition of farmers, health groups, and organic food manufacturers, will attempt to raise one million dollars (i.e. "The Money Bomb"). Donations can be made online, via regular snail mail, and over the phone. All donations will support state GMO-labeling campaigns and their defense from biotech bully lawsuits.
The Right to Know Gentically Engineered Food Act
This Act will require food manufacturers to identify genetically engineered ingredients on the labels of foods sold in California.
When California voters pass this ballot initiative, the Label Genetically Engineered Food Act will also not allow the common practice of mislabeling genetically engineered foods as "natural" or "all natural." It's imperative to understand why this initiative is so important and how it can affect all Americans, regardless of where you live.
California has the eighth largest economy in the world, so passing a labeling law for genetically engineered foods in California can have the same impact as passing a federal law.
Large food companies are unlikely to accept having dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be an expensive logistical nightmare, not to mention a massive PR problem.
To avoid the dual labeling, many would likely opt to not include using any genetically engineered ingredients in their product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. Those who opt not to replace GE ingredients from the get-go will likely find themselves unable to sell their products, as a majority of consumers reportedly will not buy foods once they know they're genetically engineered. Unable to sell their products, such companies will eventually be forced to stop contaminating our food with genetically engineered ingredients, or risk going out of business.
This is what happened in Europe and over 40 countries around the world. It can happen in the U.S. This is why we can't leave California to battle the biotech giants on their own. They need your help! Donating funds to this campaign may be the best money you'll spend all year to safeguard your health, and the health of your children.
Do you know which foods are genetically engineered when you go grocery shopping for your family? Wouldn't you want to know? Genetically engineered foods have been on the market since 1996. It's time they tell us what's in the food we're eating on a daily basis. Making a generous donation to this campaign is the best chance every American has at this point to make that happen!
The Proverbial David versus Goliath
Naturally, the biotech industry is not about to let this pass without a fight. Monsanto, the Farm Bureau, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, along with corporate agribusiness, are all raising millions of dollars to spread their propaganda in an effort to defeat the California Ballot Initiative, just like they did a decade ago in Oregon. At that time, a cabal of corporate giants, including Monsanto and DuPont, calling themselves The Coalition Against the Costly Labeling Law, outspent the pro-labeling group 30-1, and successfully defeated the labeling initiative by scaring voters into believing that labeling genetically engineered foods was unnecessary and would raise food prices.
They did it again in Washington state last month, where campaign contributions to three of the eight politicians on the Senate Agriculture Committee—Democrat Brian Hatfield, and Republicans Jim Honeyford and Mark Schoesler—guaranteed the bill's demise in committee. Right now, the biotech industry is also working to defeat similar GE labeling bills in Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, and other states. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Monsanto spent $8 million on their lobbying efforts in 2010 alone, and gave more than $400,000 in political contributions. Monsanto also spent $120 million on advertising, to convince consumers that genetically engineered foods are safe – despite the overwhelming scientific evidence showing otherwise.
Let's send them a message, loud and clear: We have the right to know what they put into our food!
You can do so by making a donation right now. The money will be used to counter the industry propaganda so that we can win this ballot.
Keep Fighting for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods
While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November, by a very narrow margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. The field-of-play has now moved to the state of Washington, where the people's initiative 522, "The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act," will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. As stated on LabelitWA.org:
"Calorie and nutritional information were not always required on food labels. But since 1990 it has been required and most consumers use this information every day. Country-of-origin labeling wasn't required until 2002. The trans fat content of foods didn't have to be labeled until 2006. Now, all of these labeling requirements are accepted as important for consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also says we must know with labeling if our orange juice is from fresh oranges or frozen concentrate.
Doesn't it make sense that genetically engineered foods containing experimental viral, bacterial, insect, plant or animal genes should be labeled, too? Genetically engineered foods do not have to be tested for safety before entering the market. No long-term human feeding studies have been done. The research we have is raising serious questions about the impact to human health and the environment.
I-522 provides the transparency people deserve. I-522 will not raise costs to consumers or food producers. It simply would add more information to food labels, which manufacturers change routinely anyway, all the time. I-522 does not impose any significant cost on our state. It does not require the state to conduct label surveillance, or to initiate or pursue enforcement. The state may choose to do so, as a policy choice, but I-522 was written to avoid raising costs to the state or consumers."
Remember, as with CA Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to succeed. Prop. 37 failed with a very narrow margin simply because we didn't have the funds to counter the massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37 camp, led by Monsanto and other major food companies. Let's not allow Monsanto and its allies to confuse and mislead the people of Washington and Vermont as they did in California. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can, regardless of what state you live in.
- No matter where you live in the United States, please donate money to these labeling efforts through the Organic Consumers Fund.
- If you live in Washington State, please sign the I-522 petition. You can also volunteer to help gather signatures across the state.
- For timely updates on issues relating to these and other labeling initiatives, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
- Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the Washington initiative.