Monday, July 1, 2013

GMO Labeling Campaign in Washington State

Last year, the defeat of GMO Labeling initiative known as California Prop 37 provided a mixed reaction. Slow Food Founder and President Carlo Petrini told members at the time that Prop 37 was the most important piece of legislation in the USA and the world, and that we had to do everything we could to pass it. With no money or real infrastructure, volunteers collected 1 million signatures, almost twice as many as were needed to qualify for the November ballot. Below you will see pictures from the Los Angeles County ballot signature event, where signatures were given to the Registrar of Voters in 2012.

Opponents raised 47 million dollars and carpeted the media in the weeks before the election. Support dipped from 75% to, well we do not know what level actually was,  there is quite a controversy that no one heard about concerning the recount.  Fresno County would have charged $78,000 for a recount, when Orange County, the 6th most populous county in the NATION, only charged $4000. This is a bit, well, interesting since Orange County ranks behind Los Angeles and San Diego within the state, so why in the world would Fresno cost so much? The so called final count was only 1% difference, which defeated the measure.


In a certain way, a sleeping giant was awakened. Here in California the network that was developed, is still going strong, and it is only a matter of time before a new initiative is introduced. The lesson we learned is that lying is quite effective, and we have to be prepared to counter the lies from the biotech food industry. California's efforts inspired nearly half of all US States to introduce bills requiring labeling of GMO foods 

The one I found most inspiring actually was West by God Virginia!

Tuesdays program features an interview with Elizabeth Larter, the communication director for  Yes on 522, the only labeling ballot initiative for the 2013 election year.

All regions have unique cuisine, but the Pacific Northwest has some of the best tasting offerings around with its Apples, Berries, Salmon and Wheat. 

Proposition 522 is on the Washington State Ballot, and has a supporting coalition it's geography deserves. 

The FDA's attempt to block labeling of GMO Salmon has special meaning in the Apple State, as it has a multi million dollar fishing industry that could be crippled with GMO seafood. So far, things look good for labeling of GMO foods in Washington. 

Now, WHO could refuse these darling children?

The text of the initiative can be found on the website Here is my favorite quote put in it's entirety in the text below. It would be great to be able to spit out on cue when someone says GMO's are like regular food, the following would be labeled under the law if passed......

(3)(a) "Genetically engineered" means any food that is produced from an organism or organisms in which the genetic material has been changed through the application of: (i) In vitro nucleic acid techniques including recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid techniques and the direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles. In vitro nucleic acid techniques include, but are not limited to, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid techniques that use vector systems and techniques involving the direct introduction into the organisms of hereditary material prepared outside the organisms, such as micro-injection, macro-injection, chemoporation, electroporation, micro-encapsulation, and liposome fusion; or (ii) fusion of cells, including protoplast fusion, or hybridization techniques that overcome natural physiological, reproductive, or recombination barriers, where the donor cells or protoplasts do not fall within the same taxonomic family, in a way that does not occur by natural multiplication or natural recombination.

I'm sorry folks, that definition lifted right from the text Prop 522 to define genetically engineered foods, nature does not do that, how can that be "just like real food"? For those of us who just want to be able to choose to eat naturally pollinated vegetables and fruits versus those who have in vitro nucleic acid techniques done to them, we just want three little letters on the package.

The question I asked in 2012, I will ask again. If GMO's are so great and the solution to the worlds problems, if the companies that are producing GMO's consider themselves partners in saving the world from starvation, then why would they spend MILLIONS to thwart mandatory free publicity for their products? 

You see, we actually do understand what section 3-a from prop 522 says, and we do not want to put that stuff into our bodies, and the only way we will know is if there is an itty bitty label on it.  Please check out Yes on 522, send them money, encourage your friends and family who live in the beautiful state of Washington to vote yes. The more states that label, the more the market will be pushed to the good old fashioned way of plant and food reproduction.

No comments:

Post a Comment