California's Right to Know, food politics, GMOs, Monsanto, Proposition 37, sustainable agriculture, sustainable living
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.
Monsanto’s “Hidden Food Tax” Double Standard
Label GMOs: Everyone’s Right to Know
Nicole Brait said:
I agree with you that it is frustrating when you are just out financed by an opponent. But I also wonder if the majority of people in this country aren’t aware enough or don’t care enough. If you asked 500 random people on the street how many would have more than the most rudimentary understanding of GMOs?
Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd but I am routinely suprised at the number of educated, informed people who don’t know that much about this topic.
Also, if you are looking for good pet food I recommend The Honest Kitchen.
Growing Up in the Garden said:
I do think that many, many people have little or no knowledge about GMOs and/or how prevalent they are in the food we eat. A friend of mine had to explain to a manager of a major grocery store chain what GMOs are. I think that if more people knew, then more people would care. Of course, there will also be people who don’t care or don’t think it is an issue. It is a very complicated science and it is easy to be confused by the processes and how they are different than regular breeding techniques.
In terms of financing, I think that the amount of money going into campaigns has gotten out of control. The presidential campaigns are on track to spend around a billion dollars each for their campaigns. There has got to be a way to make it possible for all sides to get their message across without having to outspend the other.