The Independent

Buying No Labels

Genetically modified foods
Genetically modified foods
Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded. | Photo: The Labratory | Link | Genetically Modified Foods, Gmo, Food, Dna, Nutrition, Controversy,

Spending Big to Ban GMO Labeling

The industry jargon goes something like this, "We want to label, but we want to label on a national level." That is what food manufacturers will tell you if you contact them on their anti-GMO-labeling stances. The problem is, they are spending millions to prevent state labeling movements, and spending very little, if anything at all, to advance federal labeling laws of GMOs.

Maui County, voted to enforce a ban on growing GMO crops, until further research is completed on the environmental impact and the human health impact of the growing practices associated with biotech agriculture. Unfortunately, a federal judge has block the ban voted upon by the local voter, due to Monsanto and Dow Chemical suing the county. Which isn't very surprising, special interests always look to usurp citizen sentiment, especially when the pursuit of profits is on the line.

In Colorado, the measure to label GMOs lost, but with only 52% of the eligible vote showing up, how can that result show us anything other than pushing grassroots agendas during the midterms might be a bad idea, especially when the opponent is outspending you by significant margins. In Oregon, the labeling laws failed by a very narrow margin, but again, only 48% of the eligible vote showed up, and the pro-labeling side was also heavily outspent by the anti-label corporate funded movement. But, even getting on the ballots and raising awareness is a victory for the pro-label movement, and sometimes spending more money doesn't work, as in the Maui County anti-GMO campaign case.

Regardless of the turnout, corporate financial influence on the campaign was intense, outspending the advocates of the GMO labeling laws by 87% in the Maui County election. Monsanto and other biotech food companies, along with the chemical companies producing the pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides being used by GMO agriculturists, are now following the latest fad by corporations; creating false-news sites and consumer advocacy websites, to promote their corporate agenda under the guise of a citizen bottom up movement. Not only is that truly revolting, it confuses voters with biased information, skewing the chances of objective reasoning, but this should be expected. The anti-label movement, and biotech food interests, will use the election results to further deny transparency in our foods.

It will also mean an end of the industry using the phony pro-federal labeling excuse to justify their anti-labeling stances in every state to bring the issue to a vote. Now, large food companies will tell us that people don't want their foods labeled, and will push to get transparency off the packaging of foods. But, one truth cannot be denied, purchasing power, if you wish to have more transparency, purchase foods produced by companies offering it.

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Updated May 6, 2017 5:51 AM EDT | More details

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