They’re still counting the votes in Washington, but it appears that people in the Evergreen State have voted down Initiative 522, a measure that would have required a label for foods containing genetically modified ingredients. (Mail-in ballots could turn the tide, but it seems unlikely.) Read more
With just one week left until Washington state voters decide on I-522, the ballot initiative to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), money for the opposition continues to pour in. According to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, the No on 522 campaign received an influx of $4.2 million last week from just two sources: The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and Dupont Pioneer, the seed and agri-chemical company.
I’m part of the camp that was thrilled that Proposition 37 registered a full 48.6 percent of the California vote last November. More than 6 million voters saying “yes” to labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods was a huge victory in my book, especially given that the No campaign (with major funding from chemical companies and packaged food giants such as Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, PepsiCo and Kraft) outspent the initiative’s supporters by more than $35 million dollars.
Naturally, I would like to have seen Prop. 37 win, despite the mountain of money against it, providing us with a model for more robust and honest food labeling. But the run we made at it was historic — and it is hardly the last time we’ll see GE labeling on state ballots and in legislatures. The showing California’s “right to know” initiative made is proof-positive that we are only an election (or two) or legislative victory from a different kind of understanding of both how we are producing our food and what we are eating and feeding our families. Prop. 37 was a breakthrough, not a moment of doubt. Read more
We know we’ve struck a chord with the Just Label It campaign, as Americans are responding in record-breaking numbers. As of today, more than 900,000 people have submitted comments to the FDA in favor of labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods. (I’ve written about the campaign before here and here.) But this campaign has always been about more than just the numbers. It’s about spreading the word about our right to have GE foods labeled.
We’re excited to now introduce this new infographic, which visually explains why the FDA should Just Label It. Designed to clearly show the need for labeling of GE foods, this educational tool includes a link to the Just Label It website where consumers can submit a comment to the FDA. Convenient for sharing on-line and via social media, the infographic is being distributed nationally by Just Label It’s 500 diverse partner organizations. Read more
Food & Water Watch released a new report yesterday called Genetically Engineered Food: An Overview. Sounds rather textbook, yet this report contains answers to questions about this controversial method of food production that big agribusiness does not want you to know. Our researchers worked long hours to provide consumers with information to make informed decisions about GE foods, so you will want to check this out.
This past holiday weekend, hundreds of people gathered for a free conference, called Food Justice, hosted by the University of Oregon’s Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. In the words of the conference organizers the purpose was to, “Explore the history and future of our food system with a focus on three themes: community, equity and sustainability.”
With a heavy hitters Fred Kirschenmann and Dr. Vandana Shiva offering inspiring plenaries and a host of academics and practitioners sharing their latest research and ideas, the event was as stimulating as it was frustrating. As Dr. Shiva so eloquently said in her closing plenary, “No other species has achieved the amazing success of depriving itself of food.” Read more
Rick North is the man who put the fight against rBGH on our radar. As the Director of the Campaign for Safe Food Program at Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Rick leads grass roots efforts to discontinue the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) in cows and to ensure that genetically engineered biopharmaceutical crops do not contaminate the human food supply or environment and speaks on the topic regularly. Rick will retire January 31 so that he can become a full-time volunteer fighting undue corporate influence in our government and other aspects of our lives. He’s very concerned about the corporate take-over of our government and the unlimited funds coming into our election process. After the recent elections, he knew he needed to do something. So, he’s taking it on. With a successful track record of beating Monsanto under his belt, we’re all lucky to have him in the trenches. Go Rick! Read more
On January 14th Monsanto received some unwelcome news – the U.S. Justice Department was opening a formal investigation of its business practices surrounding its Roundup Ready soybean, the most popular genetically modified (GMO) crop. For the many farmers and seed cleaners who have lost their livelihoods fighting Monsanto, it was surely bittersweet news after years of ignored pleas and support from the Justice Department. Read more