While the Presidential election monopolizes the nightly news and the 5 marijuana initiatives dominate the independent press, California’s Proposition 37 is fighting a war all by itself, until now. The ballot initiative would force food companies to label foods that are genetically modified. Called GMO’s, these fruits and vegetables have their DNA altered to produce a number of results, like being immune to deadly pesticides humans then eat.
What are GMO foods?
Also called ‘genetically altered’, GMO foods aren’t even foods anymore according to some. The same genetic modification scientists at companies like Monsanto make to our food, some argue, would make humans into monkeys if done to a person. Instead, the corporation alters foods like corn, soybeans and beets to be resistant to everything from insects to insecticides. Going one step further, GMO foods have even become insecticides themselves, poisoning bugs that try to eat them.
In true corporate fashion, Monsanto has even altered their seed, used by some 90% of all American corn farms, so that they will only grow if fertilized by Monsanto brand fertilizer. It’s no coincidence that Monsanto’s fertilizer costs double or more than that of other fertilizers on the market. There’s a reason every kernel of corn in the can looks perfect and identical. They were genetically altered to be perfect, every one of them.
GMO foods are banned by most countries, while the United States is one of the few that allow genetically altered food to be sold to unsuspecting consumers. Studies continue to show that a vast majority of Americans also do not want to eat genetically modified foods, and they wouldn’t if given the choice. In response, corporations like Monsanto began pushing laws that not only exempt them from labeling their GMO foods, it prohibits normal food growers from labeling their fruits and vegetables as ‘non-GMO’.
All that may change on November 6th. Voters in California will have the chance to vote on Proposition 37, forcing all GMO foods to be labeled as such. Up against $7.1 million in Monsanto money, supporters of California’s Prop 37 have been forced to wage a grassroots campaign utilizing independent media and independent political groups.
And while President Obama’s silence on the issue suggests which side he’s on, there’s no question what side Republican nominee Mitt Romney is on. Romney and his Bain Capital saved Monsanto from bankruptcy over three decades ago. Romney and Bain were also instrumental in Monsanto’s switch from producing weapons of mass destruction like Agent Orange, to taking over the world’s food supply. Read ‘Mitt Romney and Monsanto, 35 years of Mutual Help’ for details.
Now, a handful of Hollywood celebrities have stepped up and produced a TV commercial in support of Prop 37. Led by actor Danny DeVito, the parade of stars includes Bill Mahar, Jillian Michaels, half of Harold and Kumar, and a parade of beautiful blonde starlets. Readers can view the commercial at Vote Yes on 37.
The other video
In addition to the Hollywood celebrity video being circulated by groups like Food and Water Watch, there’s another video supporting Prop 37 making the ‘underground’ rounds. Brought to this author by The Intel Hub, the two-minute infomercial pulls no punches in describing what GMO’s are and what’s at stake on Election Day.
An excerpt from the video (readers can watch it in the video section of this article):
“What is a GMO? Scientists have discovered that by artificially manipulating the DNA of natural food, they can create a killer tomato. There are numerous intended purposes for modifying the genetics of food. One of which is to breed fruits and vegetables that produce their own internal insecticides. The concerns are obvious. If the food kills bugs, what does it do to us?”
Explaining why voters in California should support Prop 37, the grassroots video goes on to say:
“Proposition 37 requires that manufacturers of food containing GMO’s to add a few extra words to their content label. In Europe, where GMO foods require labeling, the cost to consumer has increased less than two-tenths of one percent.”
When asked, ‘are GMO’s unhealthy?’, the video begins describing many of the accusations against genetically modified foods. It says:
“Cases of autism, bowel related syndromes and food allergies have skyrocketed since GMO’s were quietly introduced into our food system in the mid-1990’s…It may be years before we know the long-term effects of genetically modified foods. Until then, we are simply asking companies to label their packages and give us a choice to opt-in or opt-out of this science experiment.”
The video goes on to detail how over 50 countries around the world already force companies to label GMO foods. Describing the corporation behind the push for GMO foods, it describes how the corporation responsible for GMO’s – Monsanto – also told consumers that the chemical weapon Agent Orange was safe.
Regardless of whether Prop 37 passes or not, voters will definitely be seeing the issue come up again. The movement across the US for GMO product labeling, if not the outright banning of GMO products, has swelled beyond the capacity of politicians and the media to ignore them any longer. If Prop 37 passes in California, many believe it will force manufacturers to label all their GMO products. California represents one-fifth of the entire US population, and it won’t be the last state to put GMO labeling into the hands of voters – Vote YES on Prop 37.
For more information, visit Food and Water Watch’s ‘Say Yes on 37’ website.