Before the GE food labeling movement marches on to the next state, we need to examine and understand these industry tactics to better prepare for them.
Like millions of parents and activists who oppose genetically modified food, I feel that the stakes are very high in this battle the safety of our world's food supply. If we are to win it, we are going to have to fight tougher. And smarter.
Just outside of the small town of Maumelle, Arkansas sits your run-of-the-mill American strip mall. And as in so many other box store hubs, a Walmart dominates the landscape. But something is a shade different about this one; its big, looming letters are not the standard blue.
What we didn't realize at the time was that the real Frankenstein's monster was not GM technology, but our reaction against
Perhaps Prop 37, the ballot initiative that would have required food companies to put a label on packaging if they used GMOs, was poorly constructed. But its defeat is a blip in the arc of history. The power of openness and transparency is a relentless tide that's only getting stronger.
By 2050, we need to figure out how to not only feed but also nourish the three billion new people who will be joining the seven billion of us who are already here on the planet. And we need to figure out how to do this as effectively, ethically and as environmentally sensibly as possible.
How do we overcome the money and influence of the chemical companies controlling our federal government's approach to GE foods and labeling? We need millions of Americans to tell our federal government officials that we want transparency, honesty and labeling in our food system.
Our consumer movement made the costly mistake of arming itself with peace signs and love beads for what turned out to be a gunfight with a ruthless, assault rifle-equipped enemy.
Despite polling in mid-September showing an overwhelming lead, the measure lost by 53 to 47 percent, which is relatively close considering the "No" side's tactics.
"I think this election was largely a story of money. We didn't have the funds to compete," Stacy Malkan, media director of
California voters rejected Prop 37, which would have required retailers and food companies to label products made with genetically
In late September, 61 percent of polled Californians supported Prop 37. But just a month later, that opinion flipped upside
GMOs in Food: Better Safe -- Or, at Least, Informed -- Than Sorry? (Or, Vote 'Yes' on California Proposition 37)
At this point, it's almost as much a philosophical decision as a scientific one.
If there is one thing that the "No on 37" campaign can say with complete honesty, it's that they have ready access to literally millions of dollars, all kindly donated by the world's largest biotechnology and pesticide producers and food industry leaders.