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What’s Next in the GMO Battle?

What’s Next in the GMO Battle?

Written by Ocean Robbins

On November 6, after spending $46 million burying California’s voters under an avalanche of deception, Monsanto and their buddies in the pesticide and junk food business declared victory. They had defeated the “right to know”, and successfully protected their “right” to keep you in the dark about whether your food is genetically engineered.

Jennifer Hatcher, senior vice president of government and public affairs for the anti-labeling Food Marketing Institute, breathed a sigh of relief after Prop 37 narrowly lost, saying: “This gives us hope that you can… defeat a ballot initiative and go directly to the voters.” But she also expressed concern: “We hope we don’t have too many of them, because you can’t keep doing that over and over again.”

If Ms. Hatcher wants to keep labeling suppressed, it looks like she may be in for a rough couple of years. Because what Monsanto and its allies hadn’t counted on was that despite all their lies and deception, it’s actually pretty hard to convince people that they shouldn’t be allowed to know what they’re eating. And although $46 million managed to put out one fire, it seems to have started about 30 new ones.

Indeed, efforts are already underway to put a similar initiative on the ballot in Washington for the 2013 election (where San Juan County voters chose on November 6 to make growing GMOs illegal in their county). And organizers in 30 other states have also begun building labeling campaigns, under the banner of the Coalition of States for Mandatory GMO labeling.

With 93 percent of the American public supporting the right to know, it looks like it’s going to take a lot more than a one deceptive, high-budget ad campaign to keep those pesky labels at bay.

The War Continues

Many people are choosing to boycott companies that continue to use GMOs and that oppose labeling. Kellogg’s has been a particularly visible target, since the company strives for a healthy image, and yet contributed $632,000 to the fight against Prop 37. For several months, the company’s Facebook page has become something of a marketing embarrassment. It’s plastered with comments by angry consumers calling the company out for fighting GMO labeling, and threatening a boycott until the company changes its ways.

Other consumers are choosing to buy products from companies that are going GMO-free. In fact, consumer demand for non-GMO products is rising fast. The non-profit Non-GMO Project, which offers a third party certification program, has now verified 764 products, and had a record-shattering 189 new enrollment inquiries in October.

More and more people are becoming alarmed about the widespread prevalence of GMOs in the food supply, and are taking steps to steer clear. This could create a tremendous market opportunity for companies that seize the day and get certified. Even shoppers who aren’t terribly concerned about GMOs may be developing more trust in the products that carry the “Non-GMO Project” certification.

For consumers who want to know what is and is not GMO-free, the Food Revolution Network has compiled a collection of resources that includes the non-GMO shopping guide, and the free iPhone and Android app from True Food Network. A list of which foods are likely to contain GMOs is posted by Institute for Responsible Technology here.

A team of organizations, led by Care2 and the Food Revolution Network, have launched a petition demanding that Congress label GMOs that has already generated nearly 50,000 signatures. And efforts of the JustLabelIt petition to the FDA, which launched a year ago and have generated more than 1.3 million signatures, are being renewed in hopes that the FDA might eventually dig itself out of Monsanto’s back pocket.

For the passionate activist, there’s always more you can do, like taking advantage of the educational resources offered for free by the Institute for Responsible Technology, and sharing them with friends. Or lobbying your member of Congress, your mayor, your governor, your local media outlets, or your relatives.

Monsanto would probably like us all to sit alone in the dark, munching on bags of genetically engineered popcorn. But the tide of history is turning, and regardless of how much they spend attempting to deceive us, we will prevail.

Ocean Robbins is founder and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the 65,000 member Food Revolution Network, an initiative to help you heal your body, and your world… with food. Find out more and sign up here.

 

Related Stories:

Did Monsanto Trick California Voters?

One GMO Success We Missed on Election Day

Can This Farmer Finally Defeat Monsanto?

 

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55 comments

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8:03PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

It should not only be OUR RIGHT to know, but we WANT to know, we NEED to know & we WILL know what's in our foods....VOICE YOURSELF PEOPLE.
It's time to go to war with GMO...

7:37PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I am still in shock about the incredible, massive, and I mean massive campaign here in California to beat prop 37. In addition to commercials every 40 minutes around the clock on every major channel about the "plight of the poor farmer being unduly burdened by a bureaucratic law", and how they sent glossy 3 page flyers to every home in the state, twice, stating that the FDA was against this(no lie- yes on 37 is filing a lawsuit for this claim), and this started in early October and didn't cease for a second until a moment after the election.

It was an amazingly successful campaign of complete disinformation and playing on the sympathies of the voters with the farmers.

I really hope this becomes a national law.

4:55AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

thanks

9:35PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

There is no place for GMO's on our plates!

8:55PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Where's the petition to Kellogs? Would love to have all the Care2 members send their sentiments to a company that brags about "health" and poisons it's customers.

11:42AM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Great photo and equally great article. Just did a search to see who Ocean was and the bio of his life and times is also great. Got to love Care2 for introducing 'us' to causes and people we'd perhaps never know about.

10:30AM PST on Nov 18, 2012

As I said before, no matter what we do we cannot ban GMOs they are already out there....... We could stop making new ones, and even stop eating them, but the ones already in use will remain in the environment forever............ Imagine dropping some ink in a bucket of water - now try to remove the ink.!!........... Nature is already spreading GMOs and will continue to do so......This evil genie is well and truly out of the bottle.

1:26AM PST on Nov 18, 2012

GMO will be gone soon. When people see the truth around It there will be no one to buy.

8:07PM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Someday All GMO's will be banned I dearly hope. Everything that is done to bring us closer to that day is 1 more step in the right direction. Education is one key..the youth today will rule tomorrow's world. They need to know what is at stake.

11:57AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Thanks

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