You have probably seen something about "Proposition 37" or "Prop. 37"--whether it's been on Facebook or Twitter or in The New York Times. Or perhaps you haven't seen anything about it and, like me, you glaze over anytime there is some political something or other that seems too hard to figure out. Well, this one is easy...or let's put it this way, I'm going to make it easy for you to understand.
The first thing to understand is you can only vote on it if you live in California. The reason I am writing this blog is so that you can share it with all your friends, in the hope that it will find everyone in California who can vote YES on Election Day. Since this is a blog and not a newspaper, I'm not going to try to be objective. I want you to vote YES. Here's why:
- 1. Proposition 37 will require all foods that have GMOs in them (that is, genetically modified organisms that are engineered to withstand extra applications of chemical herbicides and pesticides) TO BE LABELED. That's it. Not banned. Just labeled. That way you and all consumers in California will KNOW what's in your food. California would be the first state in the nation to label all foods that have GMOs in them. This is a good thing.
- 2. Prop. 37 will not allow foods with a GMO label to also be labeled "natural." People, I've been telling you for years that right now in your supermarket, "natural" means nothing. And yet, in survey after survey people feel SO GOOD about the word natural that they will buy things that say it, even when it means nothing. At least with Prop. 37 food companies won't be able to take advantage of your emotional good feelings toward the word natural and then poison you with toxins.
- 3. The opposition to Prop. 37 is excessively funded by big chemical companies, and they are outright deceptive and threatening in their tactics and promotions. If an opponent can't fight fair that's always a sign that something is wrong. Here's what's wrong: Putting knowledge into the hands of consumers might make them...do the right thing! Those companies can't allow that! That might hurt their bottom lines and make it harder for them to pollute our planet, rip off our farmers, and poison our children!
- 4. Even though Prop. 37 will make it harder and more expensive for organic producers, they embrace the labeling and are doing what they can to get the word out. Why would they do such a thing? Because organic food is at risk with the rise of GMO pollution. Organic food producers believe that all of us should know what we are eating, even if it means a bit more expense and work.
- 5. Prop. 37 will set a precedent. If the proposition passes, it will be much easier for other states to adopt the same rules. If enough states adopt GMO labeling laws, the national government may just finally pay attention and take action.
I've heard from a few people who have had the ear of the highest reaches of the U.S. government and pleaded for support on the right to know what's in our food, the need for GMO labeling
, and the support for organic farmers and food for the health of the American people. The response has been, "What food movement? Show me!" Well, y'all know I'm an Obama supporter...but sometimes a president can live in a bit of a bubble. Yes, he's got a chef in the kitchen who primarily uses organic foods. But he's also got the iron fist of the massive, mean, and all-pervasive Monsanto lobby he has to deal with. Trust me, what I've heard from insiders is that it's even worse than you imagine. People in Washington are scared of them.
THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT CAN BURST THROUGH THAT BUBBLE AND SHOW WASHINGTON THAT YES, THERE IS A FOOD MOVEMENT AND WE ALL DESERVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT'S IN OUR FOOD! And that is voting YES on Proposition 37 in California and supporting all Americans' Right to Know.
The right to know what's in our food is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It's not even a Libertarian or Tea Party issue. It's an American issue. We are one of the only countries that does not require labeling. In fact, many countries have already banned GMOs. It's time for all of us to stand up for our rights, and do what's right!
If you live in California, please vote YES on Proposition 37.
If you can, please share this with anyone you know who lives in California!
Good things will come to you, I am certain! :)
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com
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