My spirits around Proposition 37 came crashing down earlier this week when I saw the results of the opposition’s media blitz against labeling GMO’s. The latest poll conducted by Pepperdine University shows that support for the initiative has fallen by almost 20 points. Astounding what a few weeks of television ads can do!
I felt so demoralized. How could we possibly compete with the almost 35 million dollars donated to the No campaign (7 million of which came from Monsanto)? I wallowed in it for about a day, and then decided we would continue to fight the good fight. So, since the television ads seem to be doing an enormous amount of damage to the Yes campaign, I am going to take a moment to expose the deceptiveness of the claims made in the ad I have seen most often. This ad is titled “Arbitrary Exemptions.” Take a look.
Okay, let’s take on the foods they compare in the advertisement:
Soy milk vs. cow’s milk: If soy milk is made from genetically modified soy then it must be labeled. If cow’s milk comes from a genetically modified cow then it too must be labeled. However, at this point we do not have genetically modified dairy cows, and therefore, no label.
Juice vs. Alcohol: If juice is made from genetically modified fruit, sweeteners or other products it must be labeled. Alcohol gets an exemption because it is regulated by another government agency. As the law stands, California initiatives can only change one thing at a time. Including alcohol would require a separate ballot initiative.
Bread vs. Cheese: If bread is made with genetically modified ingredients then it must be labeled. Cheese must be labeled if the milk used to make it comes from a genetically modified cow. As stated above, as of now we do not have genetically modified cows, and no need for labels on these products.
Dog food vs. Meat for human consumption: Dog food is not just chopped up meat in a can. It contains all kinds of fillers and additives, some of which most likely come from GMO corn or soy. If these things are included in the dog food, then it must be labeled. If a New York steak or any other cut of meat comes from a genetically modified animal, then it must be labeled. Right now, there is no such thing.
These food comparisons are deceptive and misleading.
If that isn’t bad enough, their use of the term “special interests” really makes my blood boil. First of all, that term is thrown around all over the place to indicate bad intentions, and I can’t stand when people on any side of an argument use it. Everyone could be labeled as having “special interests.” But, if we are going to use it, the No campaign is full of “special interest groups”: Monsanto, Bayer, DuPont, BASF, and Dow to name just a few. Their interests just happen to be different than the interests of those who support Proposition 37. Their interests are with their bottom line. They are corporations who have a lot to lose if this initiative passes, plain and simple.
Last, but certainly not least, this particular ad had to be pulled after it initially aired because the the No campaign misrepresented Henry I. Miller, M.D. making it look like we was a professor at Stanford University, when in actuality he is part of a conservative think tank that is housed at Stanford University.
So, there you go. Advertisement dismantled.
For more information on Prop 37 exemptions click here.
To read the ballot initiative click here.