Whose Right Is It Anyway?

Genetically engineered foods—how Proposition 37 can help.

In 1973 the food industry successfully overturned the imitation rule which stated “ … there are certain traditional foods that everyone knows, such as bread, milk and cheese, and that when consumers buy these foods, they should get the foods they are expecting … [and] if a food resembles a standardized food but does not comply with the standard, that food must be labeled as an ‘imitation.’ ” They got it tossed out because, and understandably so, the word ‘imitation’ on a label meant the kiss of death.

One of the outcomes of this little known but significant step is the more than 17,000 food products, brought to market every year. That’s a staggering number. This explosion of food products (notice we’re saying food products not food) has landed predominantly in the center of the grocery store full of imitation who knows what, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and all other ingredients but real food. Read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

Now the American food industry wants to continue down that path and genetically modify our food without having to let us know. This year's election gives Californians a chance to let our voice be heard. According to LATimes.com, Proposition 37 requires “food manufacturers and retailers to label fresh produce and processed foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients.”

According to Dr. Mercola, “the greatest opportunity to give people the right to know if their food is genetically engineered will occur with the California ballot initiative—officially known as Proposition 37—which is coming up for vote on Nov. 6. Proposition 37 requires labeling of genetically engineered foods and will end the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as ‘natural.’”

With a few weeks until Election Day, this proposition has strong momentum and support. But it’s so critical to take it to the polls and vote. There are huge companies opposing the proposition ~ Monsanto, DuPont, Coke, Pepsi, Bayer to mention a few. These are not companies on my list as for caring about my health or having my best interests in mind.

It’s no surprise many Californians are supporting their right to know regarding genetically modified foods. Links have been found between genetically modified foods and organ damage, allergies and other health problems in children. According to CARightToKnow.com, “Even though genetically engineered foods have been on the market for more than 15 years, the first long-term, peer reviewed health study on GMO corn was just released – linking GMO corn to mammary tumors, kidney and liver problems and premature death.”

Genetically modified foods can also lead to serious environmental problems, which have been well documented. As the amount of genetically engineered crops has increased, there has been a loss in bio-diversity and an increase in pesticide usage. Many “super weeds and super bugs” now threaten acres of farmland. Genetically engineered foods can also lead to the unintentional contamination of organic and non-GMO crops.

To get more information on Proposition 37, visit www.CARightToKnow.org.

This Election Day you can make your voice heard. If you don’t want to stand for the status quo, vote YES on Proposition 37.

Tamara Archer October 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM
This came through my email from Lisa Ayala, Naturopath on yesterday's Dr. Oz program and is worth the read. I agree, I'd much prefer less governmental involvement to more. The FDA and other governmental bodies are much more aligned with big business than they are the individual constituent. "If you have not seen Dr. Oz today, they are talking about GMO foods and the right to be informed via labeling. They also mentioned that California is the first state in the nation to vote on this requirement. One of his guests indicated that they did studies and found that consuming GMO foods causes an increase wide range of chronic illnesses including allergies, diabetes, digestive problems, etc. When people were taken off GMO foods, the incidence of diseases went down or went away. They also talked about studies on rats in that when they were fed GMO food, they got many tumors in breast, liver, pituitary and other areas. They also talked about a cover up that allegedly started 20 years ago when FDA scientists urged the FDA to do more studying. They talked about the fact that the FDA has ignored the science and now does studies designed to avoid discovering the problems. Dr. Oz's shows usually repeat in the next week, but if you missed this episode I know you can go on line to Dr. Oz and watch this episode any time you like. As such, we again URGE everyone to vote YES on Proposition 37."
Tamara Archer October 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Yes we should and it's 17,000 food products a year! A couple of the criteria Michael Pollan uses to distinguish food from a food product are: is it something your great grandmother would recognize, and does it have 5 or less ingredients. And it's easy to be fooled. Most would say the bread on our shelves would be recognized by our great grandmothers, as apposed to something like Gogurt, but if you look at the bread of old had 4 ingredients, water, flour, salt, and yeast, our bread today is a far cry from being called food. Below is a list of food products found in many pantries and the number of ingredients. Most of which are additives, fillers, chemicals, extenders, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors and more. i. Wonder Bread – 42 ii. Orowheat Country Whole Grain White – 36 iii. Trix - 29 iv. Gogurt – 14 v. Pop tarts – 50 vi. Fiber Plus bars – 48 vii. Sugarfree pudding – 21 (doesn’t even need to be refrigerated!) viii. SnackWell’s popcorn - 13 ix. Mac-n-cheese - 23 If this is already what overruns our stores, consider the ramifications if GMOs don't need to be identified.
Carrie Vawter-Yousfi October 19, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I vote for the "right to know". In hopes other states will follow. Is it true that CA is the first state with this vote on the ballot? I had heard of this "37" but didn't quite understand, thanks for simplifying for me:) Carrie
Tamara Archer October 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Thanks for your comment. We can vote on Nov 6th, vote every day with our wallet, and stay informed with the different causes and petitions and keep our voices heard.
Dyan Chan October 21, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I wish the "imitation" labeling law had passed! I'm always bemused when I read something called "processed cheese food." I'm all for providing access to information people need to make good decisions!


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