I just recently read in Politico that, “Big money is making a comeback in the GMO-labeling battle, but opponents argue that the food industry’s dollars might not carry as much weight this time around.” The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto, Bayer Cropscience, Dupont Pioneer and Dow Agrosciences have all contributed big bucks to oppose Washington State -522 which will be on the ballot this November. The most prominent opponents of GMO labeling, Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, wrote $4.5 million and $3.2 million checks, respectively, this week to fund the campaign against I-522, the state’s campaign finance disclosures show. For more information on these companies read my blog: “GMO Answers – It’s all how you ask the Question”.
Some of their arguments against labeling just don’t hold water. This week the Just Label It campaign unveiled an independent scientific study on GE labeling and food prices. Despite common industry misconceptions, there is no evidence that requiring food manufacturers to label products that contain GMO ingredients will increase food prices at the supermarket. According to this new study conducted by a recognized food-marketing expert, Kai Robertson, changes to a food manufacturer’s product labels have not been found to affect the prices paid by shoppers.
The stakes are high in Washington, and the polls show that the majority of consumers support the labeling of GMO foods. With the enormous funds being spent to defeat this “right to know,” it’s important to get involved. We need all hands on deck to help defeat the misinformation campaign and help turn the tide. Everyone reading this post can be part of this historical effort. Here are seven important steps we can all take:
1) Donate to the Yes on I-522 Campaign. Even a small personal donation is important and adds up, if everyone pitches in.
2) Host a “Kitchen Conversation,” which is an opportunity to get together with friends and family to spread the word without spending millions of dollars. Let’s use people power!
3) Join the “Truth Squad” – This is a very cool way to read up and respond to the No Campaign allegations on social media.
4) If you are affiliated with an organization or businesses please endorse and send the campaign your name and logo.
5) Like the campaign on Facebook and Tweet their updates.
6) Join the Phone Bank and volunteer to make calls in support of transparent labeling.
7) Stay informed about the initiative and talk to your friends and business associates.
On the national level, Congress is back from a six month summer recess with plenty on their plates this fall. There may be a short-term continuing resolution (CR) spending bill introduced by House appropriators as early as this week. We must demand that the “Monsanto Protection Act” not be included as a rider on this bill. The rider is intended to force USDA to allow GE crops to be planted even if a Federal court rules that the USDA hadn’t previously adequately considered the environmental or economic risks to farmers. UNFI has signed on into a letter to the Senate and House appropriators opposing the rider. You can tell your elected official you want them to dump the Monsanto Protection Act through the Center for Food Safety sign on letter.
Fall is a celestial time of change with the turning of leaves and fresh winds. Let’s help turn a new leaf in agriculture and take immediate action. I can feel the winds of change and they are coming from places called Washington right now. Be a part of it!