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Who’s Fighting GMO Labeling?

GMO LabelingIt’s no surprise that Monsanto, Dupont and others are pouring big money into California to fight the state’s GMO labeling referendum which will be on the ballot November 6. How they’re doing it — through surrogate organizations — is right out of the grand American political tradition of ironically-named organizations. Front groups help hide the players behind these organizations. And what could be more ironic than hiding the identities of the companies and individuals who are fighting a right-to-know initiative?

AlterNet, the independent news gathering service, estimates that several big front groups will spend $60 to $100 million fighting the initiative. One of the largest is The Coalition Against Costly Food Labeling. Their website lists such scary articles on topics including how GMO labeling will hurt the poor and limit your food choices. Who exactly is behind the CACFL? The names aren’t surprising. According to the article, it’s composed of the “Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), whose members also include Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta, all producers of GMO seed and related products, as well as many large food processors and supermarket chains. Also on the list is the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI), whose members include Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta.” Their mission? To “protect” consumers from GMO labeling.

AlterNet reports that the groups are ready to unleash an advertising onslaught against the measure. They face an uphill battle. USA Today reported that a March poll found that 87% of adults questioned think genetically-modified foods should be labeled. But if you think passage is a slam dunk, remember this:

“A decade ago in Oregon, a similar measure that appeared to have the support of two-thirds of voters was rejected after a last-minute spending blitz by labeling opponents. With the financial backing of the organic industry, labeling supporters in California say they will be better prepared.”

It’s also worth remembering that similar measures were recently defeated in the Connecticut and Vermont legislatures after considerable pressure from food manufacturing interests. All of us interested in natural foods will be watching this one with interest.

6 Responses to “Who’s Fighting GMO Labeling?”

  1. Tim Lester on July 2nd, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    I am no fan of GMOs but why should anyone be forced to label their products if they contain GMOs? People who don’t want GMOs can just buy from good companies that do list that they are GMO free. If you give control to the government who knows what will happen just look at raw milk.
    Tim Lester

    • Thayanne on August 17th, 2012 at 2:39 am #

      And support local farms? I live in an area where this is very possible. But it seems like no one my age has a great interest in agriculture and natural foods. I guess you could say I am passionate about gardening, and I am very interested in food sciences. But what’s something that I can contribute to and make a big difference? I want to create a food revolution for kids my age, but I just don’t see how.

      • Faysal on October 28th, 2012 at 5:49 am #

        Nice article, when my kids were in mildde school I stopped buying junk food to save money! I never told them this and they never asked and we all got used to eating more healthy! It’s not 100% healthy but much better then it used to be! Who ever is in charge of buying the groceries for the household can simply take charge of it!

  2. Jenifeer on August 14th, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Labeling is important. Not using GMOs, more important. I should think the more than 125,000 suicides of Indian farmers who got caught in the seed nightmare should be a warning to our farmers. I will continue to do all I can to avoid consuming GMOs. It may mean eating only what is produced locally by people I know do not use them and having a very restricted diet. I have several health issues and consider food the most important way to make every effort to be as healthy as possible.

  3. Pati on August 17th, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    Hi, I’m a vegan and would like to introduce myself to sustainable organic gardening to save money on expensive organic food. At the moment, I do not live in an area that will allow me to actually start a garden, but I would still like to learn about organic gardening and possibly start growing herbs and small vegetables in my apartment. If anyone could recommend to me some solid websites and books, I would much appreciate it. Thanks.

  4. Diane Robertson on May 15th, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    I have been looking at the website WorldTruth.tv and they report a lot on foods and things that are good for the body and things that are bad for you. There is so much “poisoning” going on from so many sources. From chemtrails to our food, now that I know more about it the more concerned I am. With formaldehyde (used to embalm the dead) and mercury (which is a poison) in flu vaccines I refuse to take one. I would love to be able to eat organic but right now my finances won’t let me. Labeling food is a good idea. I would love to see it on the can of everything we put in our bodies. We should have that choice.

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