Proposition 37 – How Can That Affect You?

Photo: Green America

Although Proposition 37 is on the ballot in California the results will be felt globally!  Many Californians are concerned about their health and their right to know what ingredients are in the foods they consume, most specifically, genetically modified/engineered (GMO/GE).  Proposition 37, if passed, will mandate labeling GMO/GE ingredients in the food we buy.  Consumers have the right to know the ingredients of a product so they can make their own choices.

I stopped eating meat in the 60’s due to my belief that chemicals fed to animals or used to “tenderize” meat could accumulate in my body and perhaps lead to some debilitating illness.  I didn’t think much about produce at that time and enjoyed a vegetarian lifestyle.  It has only been within the past 5 years that I have chosen organic (preferably local) over regular produce.  In a recent post I shared information on deciphering the “PLU” stickers on produce to help you make healthier, pesticide-free choices.

Over the past year or so, I realized that just because I choose to eat organically grown produce and read a lot about chemicals/toxins and health related articles that not everyone who chooses organic shares my curiosity.  Frequently, when I bring up the subject of GE corn and soybeans to health conscious folks and health professionals, I often get blank stares.  The GE/GMO research is astounding and many chemicals have been linked to several diseases and ailments which are now becoming commonplace.  Unfortunately there is a lot of propaganda about the harmless effects of GMO/GE food consumption, most of which has been funded by the companies manufacturing these products.

One such chemical giant, Monsanto, purchased the rights to manufacture genetically modified seeds, most notably corn and soy which are used to provide feed to animals and the corn and soy products for our tables.  These GE/GM seeds were intended to be more pest resistant but instead have failed miserably and have increased the farmers’ expenses since applications need to be applied more often as the insects become immune to the chemicals.  Round-up, the pesticide used, is also brought to us by Monsanto. If you haven’t noticed the original Round-up has been replaced by a more powerful Round-up because the weeds were no longer affected by original Round-up, resulting in what are now called “Super-weeds”.

The Bill Gates Foundation partnered with Monsanto to help with the world hunger problem by distributing GMO/GE seeds in poor countries with major hunger problems.  However, there are many reports of problems with the GMO/GE crops and documentaries like “Bitter Seeds” have emerged, which tell stories that few know about.  The Gates Foundation looks like a hero for their solution to world hunger while Monsanto reaps the financial rewards!  Monsanto has become a huge corporate giant with past company executives appointed to influential positions by President Obama.  Governor Romney also has ties to Monsanto which doesn’t leave much hope that some of our FDA policies  will change much, regardless of the outcome in this election.   I  do find it interesting that both the Obama and Romney families choose organic foods for their own families’ consumption…I guess it’s all about political campaign contributions rather than the health of the voters.

What has emerged has been several grass-roots efforts that have spent years trying to make the public aware of the health consequences of GMO/GE seeds and the increased use of stronger pesticides on our farm crops.  The only chance for change is “louder” voices of consumers who want the right to know, thus Proposition 37 in California.  Sadly, the efforts of all these organizations are funded by donations while Monsanto can launch multi-million dollar campaigns extolling the benefits of GMO/GE crops which is only a drop in the bucket for a multi-BILLION dollar company who brought us Agent Orange (used in the Vietnam War), Aspartame (the widely used chemical sweetener used by Hershey, General Mills, Knudsen, Kellogg’s, etc…you get the picture), Round-up for our lawns followed by Super Round-up for the Round-up tolerant bugs and now genetically engineered seeds for the food we eat!

Perhaps you now realize why Proposition 37, on the California ballot, will have such a global impact.  If you don’t believe what I have written try Googling “Proposition 37” and read some of the articles representing both sides.  There is a reason more than 50 countries have required labeling of GMO/GE ingredients…why are our leaders not supporting our right to know?