Something you might not know about me, if you’re newish around here, is that I used to blog and video-blog about politics, almost exclusively. And while I enjoyed that, and my work afforded me some really amazing opportunities, it’s not something I devote much time to these days. That is, until I learned about California proposition 37, and the “California Right to Know” campaign. Before you tune out, know that the following is relevant to non-Californians and Californians alike, and that what I have to say has nothing to do with Republican or Democratic values. Your chances of getting offended or hating me are pretty slim.
Here’s what you should know about prop 37, in a nutshell: Californians want to add the words “contains GMO products” to the nutrition label of foods that contain GMO products. (My guess is that it would be near the words “produced in a facility that processes nuts.”) The purpose of this addition to nutritional labels is to enable us to make an informed choice about what foods are right for our families. That’s it. (In case you can’t tell, I am a strong supporter of prop 37.)
Adding three words to a label doesn’t sound controversial. In fact, something like 61 nations already have this kind of labeling in place, including China. (If you are unfamiliar with what a GMO is, or are interested in reading both sides of the argument for/against labeling, visit CA Right to Know for the “pro,” and No on 37 for the “con.”) And because there isn’t any legitimately good reason why we shouldn’t allow people to make informed decisions, the “No on 37” campaign made up a bunch of fake reasons. Seems fair. (You can read the reasons, and the “Yes on 37” campaign’s responses on their respective websites.)
Prop 37 is a homegrown initiative, put on the ballot by over a million Californians, whereas the “No on 37” campaign has the support of giant agribusiness companies like Monsanto, and well-known brands like Pepsi, Coke, Nestle, Kraft, General Mills, Kellogg, Hershey, Hines, Campbell, etc. Collectively, they’ve spent over 40 million dollars since October 1st, trying to misinform Californians about prop 37. Call me crazy, but when so much money is involved, it’s naive to think that the folks that are cashing in on our ignorance have our best interest at heart.
Regardless of how you feel about eating genetically modified organisms: Do we have a right to know what’s going into our mouths? And into the mouths of our children? I think we do, and my guess is that most of you agree with me. We forget, I think, that nutritional labels didn’t always exist, and that labeling is something consumers have always had to fight hard for. If you support our right to know what’s in our food, would you consider sharing this information with any folks you might know who live in California? So much money is being spent by corporations on misinforming people, that we need all the real people we can get to speak up, and even better, to turn up at the polls and vote yes on proposition 37.
(My name is Melissa, and I approve this message. )
Let’s be friends!
- WATCH: ‘If There’s Nothing Wrong With GMOs, Why Not Put It On The Label’? (huffingtonpost.com)
- 37 Reasons to Vote for Prop. 37 (Mandatory GMO Food Labels) (fooducate.com)
- Pesticide Giants Pour Millions into Campaign to Defeat California’s Prop. 37 (commondreams.org)
- Can Campaign Ads Convince Voters Not to Care What’s In Their Food? (theatlantic.com)
- Prop 37: Labeling For GMOs, Or Genetically Modified Food (huffingtonpost.com)