GMO

Truth advocates push for GMO labeling initiative to be placed on 2012 California ballot

Thursday, August 11, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: GMO labeling, California, health news

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(NaturalNews) Advocates for truth in food labeling will be working diligently this fall to gather enough signatures to get an initiative placed on the 2012 California electoral ballot that, if passed, will mandate that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) be properly labeled within the state.

The measure also has the potential to set a new labeling standard for the rest of the US as well, which could eventually drive GMOs out of the marketplace altogether.

The biotechnology industry and its allies have pumped billions of dollars into lobbying efforts that have effectively prevented every proposal for GMO labeling from moving forward.

While numerous polls have found that at least 90 percent of Americans support the mandatory labeling of GMOs, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and various other federal agencies backed by special interests have repeatedly stood against it (http://www.naturalnews.com/029168_GMO_foods_...).

The Obama administration has also made it very clear that regulating genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) is not a primary concern for the US government, let alone any sort of proper labeling.

Just a few months ago, Obama's USDA, for instance, willingly and openly deregulated GM alfalfa without an environmental impact report (EIR) or any proper safety studies (http://www.naturalnews.com/031196_GE_alfalfa...).

And the administration has also been pushing very hard to get GMOs permitted for planting in national wildlife refuges, which is against the law (http://www.naturalnews.com/032726_GMOs_natio...).

Getting GMOs labeled continues to be an uphill battle -- and it may seem like something that will never happen apart from a miracle -- but like every other political effort that has ever been successful on a significant level, dedication and strategic planning by grassroots activists just might be the key to victory.

By simply getting a GMO labeling initiative on the California electoral ballot in 2012, half the battle will have already been won. The goal now, though, will be to gain enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

Organic Trade Association board members have ties to GMOs, thus the organization's silence on the issue

Labeling of GMOs is something that most NaturalNews readers might assume is widely supported by the nation's organic companies and groups. And this is largely the case except for a few, including the Organic Trade Association (OTA), whose ranks have been tainted by board members with ties to corporations that profit from the sale of GMOs.

OTA's President Julia Sabin, for instance, is Vice President and General Manager for Smucker Natural Foods, Inc., which uses GM high fructose corn syrup and other GM ingredients in its various jellies and jams. Sabin personally profits from her company's use of GM ingredients, and yet she holds the highest post at OTA, a group that is supposed to represent the interests of the organic food industry.

While OTA claims to support the labeling of GMOs, the group has never devoted any of its financial resources to actually making this a reality. So this key player in the organic industry has essentially done little to nothing to actually get GMOs labeled in the US, and yet claims at the same time to support GMO labeling.

Be sure to watch this short, informative video about various OTA board members' connections to GMOs, and learn why OTA has taken a soft stance on GMO labeling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCK0MTS4mvI&f...

After seeing the numerous connections to GMO interests, it will become clear why OTA essentially plays both sides of the fence by saying one thing and doing another.

Speaking about Oregon's Measure 27 (2002), Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association said "The first ballot initiative effort to require food companies to label products that contain genetically-modified (GM) ingredients. The Organic Trade Association ostensibly supported the measure, but didn't chip in financially. The food and crop biotechnology industries raised a war chest to fight the ballot measure. Ironically, some of these companies already had stakes in organic and some had subsidiaries that were members of OTA."

Baden-Mayer also stated that "General Mills (currently represented on the OTA board by Craig Weakly of Small Planet Foods), HJ Heinz Co. (invested in the Hain-Celestial Group), PepsiCo (Tropicana and Quaker produce a few organic products), and Kellogg's (owns Kashi), joined a coalition of corporate giants -- the Coalition Against the Costly Labeling Law -- including chemical makers Monsanto and DuPont, agribusiness ConAgra, food processor Sara Lee, the pesticide lobbying group CropLife, and the junk food lobbying group the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), in spending some $5.5 million to defeat mandatory GMO labels."

So you see, some of the very same organic companies represented by OTA are also tied to companies that use GMOs. Naturally, these companies are choosing to fight labeling laws that will hurt their bottom line. This is precisely why it will take grassroots support to get the California initiative on the 2012 ballot, and to successfully rally enough support to get it passed.

If you would like to learn more about how you can help gather signatures for the initiative this fall, and get this landmark GMO labeling law passed, visit:
http://www.labelGMOs.org

At the site, you will also find access to useful information about organizing and educating people in your community about GMOs, volunteering to help the California campaign, and even starting an initiative to label GMOs in your own state if you do not live in California.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm...

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