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New York Times: Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Content

Posted: March 8th, 2013 | Filed under: Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

stop gmo food contamination New York Times: Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene Modified Content World Health Organization Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Washington Wal Mart Voters twitter Soybeans Saffron Road Republicans Proposition 37 poll Pepsico OPLIY Non GMO Project Missouri Mellman Group Mark Kastel Louis Finkel legislatures Legislation Karen Batra just label it Grocery Manufacturers Association Grocery GMO Soybeans GMO Labeling GMO Corn genetically modified ingredients Gary Hirshberg Food and Drug Administration FDA facebook eat in Democrats Customers Cornucopia Institute Corn Coca Cola California bovine growth hormone biotech industry BIO American Medical Association American Halal Company A.C. Gallo

Safe Food Action St. Louis outside Whole Foods Market in Brentwood, MO

Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Content

By Stephanie Strom

Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain, on Friday became the first retailer in the United States to require labeling of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry.
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A. C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods, said the new labeling requirement, to be in place within five years, came in response to consumer demand. “We’ve seen how our customers have responded to the products we do have labeled,” Mr. Gallo said. “Some of our manufacturers say they’ve seen a 15 percent increase in sales of products they have labeled.”

Genetically modified ingredients are deeply embedded in the global food supply, having proliferated since the 1990s. Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States, for example, have been genetically modified. The alterations make soybeans resistant to a herbicide used in weed control, and causes the corn to produce its own insecticide. Efforts are under way to produce a genetically altered apple that will spoil less quickly, as well as genetically altered salmon that will grow faster. The announcement ricocheted around the food industry and excited proponents of labeling. “Fantastic,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic advocacy group that favors labeling.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group that represents major food companies and retailers, issued a statement opposing the move. “These labels could mislead consumers into believing that these food products are somehow different or present a special risk or a potential risk,” Louis Finkel, the organization’s executive director of government affairs, said in the statement.

Mr. Finkel noted that the Food and Drug Administration, as well as regulatory and scientific bodies including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association, had deemed genetically modified products safe.

The labeling requirements announced by Whole Foods will include its 339 stores in the United States and Canada. Since labeling is already required in the European Union, products in its seven stores in Britain are already marked if they contain genetically modified ingredients. The labels currently used show that a product has been verified as free of genetically engineered ingredients by the Non GMO Project, a nonprofit certification organization. The labels Whole Foods will use in 2018, which have yet to be created, will identify foods that contain such ingredients.

The shift by Whole Foods is the latest in a series of events that has intensified the debate over genetically modified foods. Voters defeated a hard-fought ballot initiative in California late last year after the biotech industry, and major corporations like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, spent millions of dollars to fight the effort. Other initiatives have qualified for the ballot in Washington State and Missouri, while consumers across the country have been waging a sort of guerrilla movement in supermarkets, pasting warning stickers on products suspected of having G.M.O. ingredients from food companies that oppose labeling. Proponents of labeling insist that consumers have a right to know about the ingredients in the food they eat, and they contend that some studies in rats show that bioengineered food can be harmful.

Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a campaign for a federal requirement to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients, called the Whole Foods decision a “game changer.”

“We’ve had some pretty big developments in labeling this year,” Mr. Hirshberg said, adding that 22 states now have some sort of pending labeling legislation. “Now, one of the fastest-growing, most successful retailers in the country is throwing down the gantlet.”

He compared the potential impact of the Whole Foods announcement to Wal-Mart’s decision several years ago to stop selling milk from cows treated with growth hormone. Today, only a small number of milk cows are injected with the hormone.

Karen Batra, a spokeswoman for BIO, a trade group representing the biotech industry, said it was too early to determine what impact, if any, the Whole Foods decision would have. “It looks like they want to expand their inventory of certified organic and non-G.M.O. lines,” Ms. Batra said. “The industry has always supported the voluntary labeling of food for marketing reasons.”

She contended, however, that without scientific evidence showing that genetically modified foods caused health or safety issues, labeling was unnecessary.

Nonetheless, companies have shown a growing willingness to consider labeling. Some 20 major food companies, as well as Wal-Mart, met recently in Washington to discuss genetically modified labeling.

Coincidentally, the American Halal Company, a food company whose Saffron Road products are sold in Whole Foods stores, on Friday introduced the first frozen food, a chickpea and spinach entree, that has been certified not to contain genetically modified ingredients.

More than 90 percent of respondents to a poll of potential voters in the 2012 elections, conducted by the Mellman Group in February last year, were in favor of labeling genetically modified foods. Some 93 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of Republicans in the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, favored it.

But in the fight over the California initiative, Proposition 37, the opponents succeeded in persuading voters that labeling would have a negative effect on food prices and the livelihood of farmers.

That fight, however, has cost food companies in other ways. State legislatures and regulatory agencies are pondering labeling on their own, and consumers have been aggressive in criticizing some of the companies that fought the initiative, using Twitter and Facebook to make their views known.

Buoyed by what they see as some momentum in the labeling war, consumers, organic farmers and food activists plan to hold an “eat-in” outside the F.D.A.’s offices next month to protest government policies on genetically modified crops and foods. Whole Foods, which specializes in organic products, tends to be favored by those types of consumers, and it enjoys strong sales of its private-label products, whose composition it controls. The company thus risks less than some more traditional food retailers in taking a stance on labeling.

In 2009, Whole Foods began submitting products in its 365 Everyday Value private-label line to verification by the Non GMO Project.

But even Whole Foods has not been immune to criticism on the G.M.O. front. A report by Cornucopia, “Cereal Crimes,” revealed that its 365 Corn Flakes line contained genetically modified corn. By the time the report came out in October 2011, the product had been reformulated and certified as organic.

Today, Whole Foods’ shelves carry some 3,300 private-label and branded products that are certified, the largest selection of any grocery chain in the country.

Mr. Gallo said Whole Foods did not consult with its suppliers about its decision and informed them of it only shortly before making its announcement Friday. He said Whole Foods looked forward to working with suppliers on the labeling.


Source: New York Times

The 10 Biggest GMO PR disasters of 2012

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 | Filed under: Research | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 was the year the lights came up on the biotech industry. Its claims, its tactics and its products all came under scrutiny and some of its biggest PR fairytales bit the dust. Here are some prime examples.

1. Fleeing Europe: The biotech bubble needs to appear to be constantly expanding but in early 2012 came the news that the GM and chemicals giant BASF was pulling its GM division out of Europe because it was facing opposition “from the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians.” BASF also announced it was stopping the commercialization of its GM Amflora potato, one of only two GM crops authorized for cultivation in the European Union. The crop had been a commercial flop. The industry’s only other crop grown in Europe, Monsanto’s Mon810 GM maize, continued to face bans in a number of countries including Germany, Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg, France, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Poland. Even GM crop trials are in decline and with BASF quitting Europe they’re expected to decline still further.

2. Meltdown in India: Bt cotton in India has been claimed as one of the industry’s biggest success stories but in 2012 the PR claims completely fell apart. First, a leaked agriculture ministry advisory to cotton-growing states admitted, “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.” Two new award winning films also helped expose the truth about GM cotton in India to a wider audience. So too did a powerful report from India’s Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, after its committee members visited five States, examined thousands of documents and talked to large numbers of farmers and experts. The 31 MPs also met around a hundred widows of Bt cotton farmers, including 14 in a village promoted by Monsanto as a model for Bt cotton’s success. It turned out the farmers in Monsanto’s “model village” wanted a ban on Bt cotton. The shocked MPs issued a unanimous report saying GM crops were not the right way forward for India and called for an immediate ban on all GM crop trials. Not long afterwards an expert panel of scientists set up by lndia’s Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on GM crops.

3. Opposition grows in the US: Everyone knows about California’s referendum on the labeling of food containing GM ingredients, which was narrowly lost in the face of a massive advertising blitz by its industry opponents. But it took all kinds of lies, dirty tricks and a cool $45 million to kill off the initiative, and still 48.6 percent of voters supported it. Worse still for the industry, the controversy it stirred up helped spread GMO awareness nationwide. Many other states and local governments are now picking up the fight for GMO labeling, while the national Just Label It campaign has already submitted over a million signatures to the FDA asking the agency to require the labeling of GM foods. Some activists even took to the supermarket aisles to label GMO foods themselves. The industry has also been facing street protests across the US, with at least 60 protests targeting Monsanto on the anniversary of the Occupy movement.

4. Opposition grows worldwide: In 2012 protests against GM crop trials and the biotech industry’s activities took place across the globe. And although 60 countries already have GM food labeling, important new breakthroughs were achieved in: India, which is to introduce labeling for the first time in 2013; South Africa, where GM labeling is being tightened up to help enforce food industry compliance; Brazil, where the courts forced the multinational food company Nestle to label GM ingredients in its products; and Turkey, where mandatory labeling is to be extended to include GMO-fed animal products.

5. The reality of GM farming overwhelms public relations – nature cannot be fooled: US farmers are having to use still more pesticides to try and save their crops as infestations of rootworms have exploded on GM (Bt) corn engineered to eradicate them. “I lost $25,000 in yield,” said Charles Sandager, a Minnesota farmer. “They are going to outsmart us, them bugs.” Likewise, in order to combat the ever proliferating numbers of herbicide-resistant superweeds, the GM industry is preparing to roll out crops resistant to older and even more toxic herbicides, as well as to multiple herbicides. Washington State University agronomist Charles Benbrook says what the GM industry is doing “makes about as much sense as pouring gas on a fire to put it out.” Benbrook’s research shows that GM crops, far from cutting agrochemical use in the US as the industry likes to claim, have unleashed a pesticide gusher.

6. Toxics exposed: Among the toxic herbicides GM crops are now being engineered to resist is 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange. Research has shown 2,4-D to be an endocrine disruptor, and has linked exposure to cancers, neurological impairment and reproductive problems. As a result, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have banned it, but the new wave of 2,4-D-resistant GM crops will massively increase the exposure of farmworkers and consumers to this dangerous herbicide. In 2012 there was also growing evidence of the dangers of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide, which with the considerable help of GM Roundup Ready crops is the most heavily used herbicide worldwide:
+ Glyphosate found in people’s urine - A German university study found significant concentrations of glyphosate in the urine samples of city dwellers. All had concentrations of glyphosate at 5 to 20-fold the limit for drinking water. News of this study came not long after the publication of a study confirming glyphosate was contaminating groundwater. Last year also saw the publication of two US Geological Survey studies which consistently found glyphosate in streams, rain and even air in agricultural areas of the US. Glyphosate has also been found circulating in women’s blood and can even cross the placental barrier and so reach the developing fetus.
+ Glyphosate and Roundup damage DNA in human mouth cells – A 2012 study by Austrian researchers raises concerns over the safety of inhaling glyphosate, one of the most common ways in which people are exposed to the herbicide in the GM soy-producing countries of South America.
+ Glyphosate damages nerve cells – A new study adds confirmatory evidence to previous studies that found a correlation between Roundup exposure and Parkinson’s disease.
+ Roundup can cause amphibians to change shape - A 2012 study found that tadpoles exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup grew abnormally large tails. 
+ Roundup kills rat testicular cells - A new study showed that at low doses Roundup reduced testosterone by 35% in mature rats. At high doses, it destroyed testicular cells.
+ Roundup harms beneficial gut bacteria –  A study by scientists at Leipzig University found that Roundup negatively impacted the gastrointestinal bacteria of poultry in vitro. The researchers found that highly pathogenic bacteria resisted Roundup, whereas beneficial bacteria were moderately to highly susceptible to it. The study provides a scientific basis to farmer reports of increased gastrointestinal disease in animals fed GM Roundup Ready soy.
+ Roundup probably causes birth defects, according to a new peer reviewed paper published in the Journal of Environmental and Analytical Toxicology

7. Monsanto guilty of false advertizing: An advertisement for Roundup that Monsanto placed in Dutch newspapers made a number of misleading claims, according to the Dutch Advertising Code Commission. Earlier in the year, the Advertising Standards Council of India concluded that Monsanto’s claims of economic benefits to farmers from its GM cotton were baseless. Monsanto has also previously been found guilty of using wrong, unproven, misleading and confusing claims to promote either its GM crops or Roundup by advertizing watchdogs in the UK, South Africa and France.

8. Unethical research practices and scientific fraud: In December the Chinese authorities sacked three officials who had approved and conducted a controversial US funded research project that involved testing GM golden rice on school children. The officials were punished for “violating relevant regulations, scientific ethics and academic integrity.” The Chinese investigation into how the research was conducted has also provided evidence that contradicts the claims made about how much golden rice was fed to the children in a paper on the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. As a policy researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has commented, “Either the researchers are lying about this now or they lied about it in their paper. It’s a serious offence either way.” Earlier in 2012 came the retraction of a study by researchers at the Monsanto-backed Danforth Center that claimed to have found a way through genetic engineering to boost the protein content of cassava. The retraction occurred “after researchers failed to find any supporting data to back up [the paper's] claims.” In late 2012 there was also news of researchers studying the Bt toxins used in GM crops having doctored images in a whole series of published papers. Neither of the researchers involved seems to be facing the sack, although one of the researchers is having to step down as head of their university’s Committee on Bioethics! In October of 2012 came the headline, “Top GM researcher falsified patent claim to grab national award.” Back in February 2012 there was yet another remarkable headline, “Untangling India’s Bt cotton fraud: ICAR’s top research institutes and GEAC [the key GM regulator] exposed in Bt cotton research scam.” The scam apparently involved, among other things, stealing a Bt cotton gene from Monsanto, but Monsanto itself and various Indian agricultural universities also stand accused of theft - criminal biopiracy – in the case of another GM crop. And that’s all in just the last 12 months! Some see all this as the result of an over-commercialised public science sector, while others suspect it is the inevitable by-product of GM crops being based on a fraud themselves – a massively hyped technology rooted in entirely false premises.

9. Seralini publishes explosive GMO/Roundup study: Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini’s research found serious adverse health impacts in the rats fed Monsanto’s GM corn (NK603) and/or small amounts of the Roundup herbicide that the crop was engineered to withstand. Wave after wave of dubious criticism, fuelled and orchestrated by those with industry connections, attempted to silence the questions raised by the long-term study, as well as to stifle scientific discourse and get the paper retracted. But as the dust starts to settle over the controversy, the study not only remains unretracted but there is a growing recognition of the need for long-term studies on GM crops of the sort Seralini has conducted. Worst of all from the biotech industry’s point of view, their supporters’ savage attacks on Seralini’s study have exposed the fact that a careful comparison of Seralini’s research with Monsanto’s own safety trials shows that if the Seralini experiments are considered insufficient to demonstrate harm, then those carried out by Monsanto cannot prove safety. This is because, whatever its limitations, Seralini’s study was conducted to generally higher scientific standards than the studies underlying GM food approvals. As a result, the attacks on Seralini’s study are bound to fuel calls for mandatory long-term testing of all GMOs and their associated pesticides before they’re commercialized, as well as bringing into question all existing GM crop approvals.

10. Regulatory capture exposed: The other damaging consequence for the biotech industry of the attacks on Seralini and the rush by the likes of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to reject the study, has been the resulting exposure of the double standards of regulators who have accepted Monsanto’s studies claiming safety for their products at face value while demanding that public researchers like Seralini prove any harm from GM crops beyond all doubt. This is why 140 French scientists in a public statement published in Le Monde, declared that it was contrary to all scientific ethics to damn an experimental protocol when it gave results that were not wanted, while accepting it when it gave results that were. EFSA’s behaviour has also brought further focus on the problems of regulatory capture and of serious conflicts of interest among the regulators. This was already an open scandal, not least after EU member states earlier in 2012 had had to refuse the nomination of an ex-Monsanto employee to EFSA’s management board. By the end of 2012 there was growing awareness of the extent of regulatory dysfunction and the scandal of government agencies doing exactly what multinational corporations ask them to do.


Source: GM Watch

Why Senator Bernie Sanders’ GMO Labeling Amendment to the Farm Bill Failed: Monsanto’s GMO Money

Posted: June 27th, 2012 | Filed under: Research | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
occupy monsanto banner11 Why Senator Bernie Sanders GMO Labeling Amendment to the Farm Bill Failed: Monsantos GMO Money Vote Senate PAC Money Lobbyist Lobbying Legislation Government Affairs GMO Money GMO Labeling Farm Bill Contributions Center for Responsive Politics Bribes biotech industry Bills Bernie Sanders

Last week corporate cash killed Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) GMO Labeling amendment to the Senate Farm Bill (S. 3240). The Genetic Crime Unit of Occupy Monsanto decided to cross-reference the Amendment’s vote tally with the last 10 years of Monsanto’s PAC contributions to U.S. Senators.

It’s not surprising that of the 73 Senators who voted against (‘Nay’) the amendment, 37 Senators, or over 50%, received a combined total of $237,500 in campaign contributions from Monsanto’s PAC. Only 2 Senators, Senator Inouye from Hawaii & Senator Leahy from Vermont, who received a combined total of $8,000 from Monsanto’s PAC, voted in support (‘Yea’) of the GMO labeling amendment.

Monsanto’s GMO Money is rampant in the halls of Congress and the corporation’s patented genes are becoming a biohazard to the health of American democracy. With nearly half of American U.S. Senators becoming genetically mutated, we must take action to remove Monsanto’s GMO Money from the currency supply. Do you have plans for the third week of September? Yea.


State Last Name Vote Monsanto’s GMO Money
MO Blunt Nay $36,000.00
GA Chambliss Nay $21,500.00
MO McCaskill Nay $15,000.00
IA Grassley Nay $14,000.00
IA Harkin Nay $13,000.00
NE Nelson Nay $13,000.00
MT Baucus Nay $11,500.00
ID Crapo Nay $11,000.00
KS Roberts Nay $9,000.00
IN Lugar Nay $8,000.00
UT Hatch Nay $7,000.00
MS Wicker Nay $6,000.00
LA Vitter Nay $6,000.00
ID Risch Nay $5,500.00
ND Hoeven Nay $5,000.00
OH Portman Nay $5,000.00
KY McConnell Nay $5,000.00
NC Burr Nay $5,000.00
IL Durbin Nay $5,000.00
KS Moran Nay $5,000.00
OK Coburn Nay $4,000.00
NE Johanns Nay $3,000.00
MI Stabenow Nay $3,000.00
SD Thune Nay $2,500.00
LA Landrieu Nay $2,000.00
MS Cochran Nay $2,000.00
AL Sessions Nay $2,000.00
AR Pryor Nay $2,000.00
NY Gillibrand Nay $2,000.00
PA Casey Nay $1,500.00
MN Klobuchar Nay $1,000.00
AZ Kyl Nay $1,000.00
GA Isakson Nay $1,000.00
ND Conrad Nay $1,000.00
DE Carper Nay $1,000.00
WY Enzi Nay $1,000.00
NC Hagan Nay $1,000.00
NM Bingaman Nay $0.00
KY Paul Nay $0.00
WY Barrasso Nay $0.00
NV Reid Nay $0.00
FL Rubio Nay $0.00
TN Alexander Nay $0.00
NH Ayotte Nay $0.00
CO Udall Nay $0.00
VA Webb Nay $0.00
VA Warner Nay $0.00
PA Toomey Nay $0.00
NH Shaheen Nay $0.00
NY Schumer Nay $0.00
ME Snowe Nay $0.00
AL Shelby Nay $0.00
SC Graham Nay $0.00
MN Franken Nay $0.00
DE Coons Nay $0.00
TX Hutchison Nay $0.00
NV Heller Nay $0.00
OH Brown Nay $0.00
ME Collins Nay $0.00
IN Coats Nay $0.00
SC DeMint Nay $0.00
TX Cornyn Nay $0.00
TN Corker Nay $0.00
AZ McCain Nay $0.00
MA Brown Nay $0.00
MI Levin Nay $0.00
FL Nelson Nay $0.00
NJ Menendez Nay $0.00
WI Kohl Nay $0.00
WI Johnson Nay $0.00
OK Inhofe Nay $0.00
AR Boozman Nay $0.00
UT Lee Nay $0.00
IL Kirk Not Voting $0.00
HI Inouye Yea $7,000.00
VT Leahy Yea $1,000.00
OR Merkley Yea $0.00
OR Wyden Yea $0.00
MD Mikulski Yea $0.00
AK Murkowski Yea $0.00
CT Lieberman Yea $0.00
WV Manchin Yea $0.00
MT Tester Yea $0.00
NM Udall Yea $0.00
RI Whitehouse Yea $0.00
WA Murray Yea $0.00
RI Reed Yea $0.00
VT Sanders Yea $0.00
CT Blumenthal Yea $0.00
CA Boxer Yea $0.00
WA Cantwell Yea $0.00
HI Akaka Yea $0.00
AK Begich Yea $0.00
SD Johnson Yea $0.00
MA Kerry Yea $0.00
NJ Lautenberg Yea $0.00
CO Bennet Yea $0.00
CA Feinstein Yea $0.00
MD Cardin Yea $0.00
WV Rockefeller Yea $0.00

Note: These figures are only from Monsanto’s PAC. Congress receives millions of dollars from the biotech industry as a whole, undoubtedly influencing their vote against the people’s right to know if they are eating GMOs.

Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This article by Dr. Mercola was published earlier this week on the Huffington Post.


moneybomb Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto Ronnie Cummins Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act right to know Organic Consumers Fund Organic Consumers Association Natures Path Money Bomb Mercola Lundberg Family Farms labeling Institute for Responsible Technology Huffington Post gmo genetically engineered Food Democracy Now FDA Eden Foods Donate California biotech industry

Something Historic Is About to Happen

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 the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot for Nov. 6. Starting May 1, and extending through May 26, a broad coalition of farmers, health groups, and organic food manufacturers will attempt to raise $1 million (i.e., “the money bomb”) to support state GMO-labeling campaigns and their defense from biotech bully lawsuits.

The Right to Know Genetically 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 prohibit 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 (“GE”) 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.

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.

The Proverbial David vs. Goliath

Naturally, the biotech industry is not about to let this pass without a fight. Monsanto, the Farm Bureau, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and 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 to 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 the state of Washington 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 scientific evidence suggesting otherwise.

Let’s send them a message loud and clear: We have the right to know what they put into our food!

We’re Dropping the Money Bomb!

About 20 years ago, the FDA decided to deny consumers the right to know whether their food was genetically altered or not. This shameful regulation was spearheaded by Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lawyer who transferred into the offices of the FDA. Taylor is not the only ex-Monsanto employee who ended up in a position of power within the U.S. federal government and its regulatory agencies, and this is precisely why previous efforts to get genetically engineered foods labeled have been blocked.

Not so this time!

Ballot initiatives like the one in California are one way for citizens to take back control from compromised politicians and government officials and bypass them entirely. To sweeten the deal further, a group of “Right to Know” public interest organizations and organic companies has pledged to match the first $1 million raised in this nationwide “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto Campaign.” These “Right to Know” groups include:

Can We Win?

Yes, I believe we can! But we need to get the word out, which requires a strong campaign to educate the citizens of California to vote for the initiative on Nov. 6. According to Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association, we stand a good chance of winning in California because:

  • This time, we have far more scientific information and greater public awareness on our side. GE foods are now a mainstream media issue. Monsanto has become the most hated corporation in the world.
  • This time, we have overwhelming public support. Polls show that more than 8 out of 10 voters in California want mandatory GE labeling.
  • This time, we have built the strongest coalition of concerned food consumers in history, for the exclusive purpose of passing this law.

The Time for Action Is Now!

Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association states:

Monsanto is one of the most powerful, arrogant and destructive companies in the world. For decades, they have controlled the world’s food supply by buying off politicians and regulatory agencies, intimidating small farmers, manipulating the outcome of scientific studies, lying to consumers — and threatening to sue states like Vermont if they dare to pass a GMO labeling law.

We have the right to know if the food we buy has been genetically engineered. … It’s time to take back our food. Our farms. Our power. It’s time to show Monsanto what ordinary people like us can do when we come together. It’s time to drop the money bomb on Monsanto.”

Hundreds of thousands of people can help the coalition behind this initiative run a dynamic, effective campaign to bring down Monsanto and the rest of the Biotech Bullies.


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