Will California’s GM food referendum change what America eats?

June 13, 2012HEALTH - Last month, nearly 1m signatures were delivered to county registrars throughout California calling for a referendum on the labeling of genetically engineered foods. If the measure, “The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” which will be on the ballot in November, passes, California will become the first state in the nation to require that GM foods be labeled as such on the package. This is not the first time that the issue has come up in California. Several labeling laws have been drafted there, but none has made it out of legislative committee. Lawmakers in states like Vermont and Connecticut have also proposed labeling legislation, which has gone nowhere in the face of stiff industry opposition. And the U.S. Congress has likewise seen sporadic, unsuccessful attempts to mandate GM food labeling since 1999. What makes the referendum in California different is that, for the first time, voters and not politicians will be the ones to decide. And this has the food industry worried. Understandably so, since only one in four Americans is convinced that GMOs are “basically safe,” according to a survey conducted by the Mellman Group, and a big majority wants food containing GMOs to be labeled. This is one of the few issues in America today that enjoys broad bipartisan support: 89% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats want genetically altered foods to be labeled, as they already are in 40 nations in Europe, in Brazil, and even in China. In 2007, then candidate Obama latched onto this popular issue saying that he would push for labeling – a promise the president has yet to keep. In Europe, only 5% of food sold contains GMOs, a figure that continues to shrink. In the US, by contrast, an estimated 70% of the products on supermarket shelves include at least traces of genetically engineered crops – mostly, corn and soy byproducts and canola oil, which are ingredients in many of America’s processed foods. Given their unpopularity with consumers; labeling “Frankenfoods” would undoubtedly hurt sales, possibly even forcing supermarkets to take them off their shelves. In one survey, just over half of those polled said they would not buy food that they knew to be genetically modified. This makes the financial stakes for November’s referendum vote huge. California is not just America’s leading agricultural state, but the third most populous state in the nation. If companies are made to change their labels in California, they may well do so all over the country, rather than maintain a costly two-tier packaging and distribution system. –Daily Mail
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19 Responses to Will California’s GM food referendum change what America eats?

  1. krystal says:

    I have to admit that it is hard to decide which side to support… I do not want my children or us folks to eat these genetically modified foods that scientists produced! God made foods just naturally and He knows what is good for us. Now, economy in America is already shaking, if we removed these products from shelves will guarantee more job losses for people. We allowed this mess in first place, we need to accommodate losses with something else… organic foods are insanely expensive! Um, go back to primitive roots? It may have to come down to that, going back to bartering system. Keep an eye out for farm or potential land nearby river with aquifer flowing. Grab it while you still can! Rich people are going to get richer, poor will become poorer, unless they are smart enough to buy farm and start now. Implosion is coming.

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  2. Marshallrn says:

    It’s got my vote. Yet I have been voting with my dollars for years. No GM products in my house. People will be amazed at how much stuff has GM ingredients in them. GM foods are as bad as plastic bottles and Milk with hormones in it. Yet we are the land of the free, so only time will tell. Buy local, buy organic, and for the love of all that is holly learn to garden.

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  3. Kme says:

    Any job losses due to labelling frankenfoods will be temporary. Food is a commodity that is absolutely essential. Organic foods are becomming more expensive due to the fact that people are demanding them above frankenfood. When demand rises prices go up. If the forced labelling of frankenfood goes through, fewer farmers will be encouraged to grow those crops and within a year the price of organic food will go down and franken foods will be something that the companies have a really hard time selling. Therefore they will stop producing it. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of the food supply. Europe has already banned frankenfood for the most part. I am completely against genetically modified foods and I believe that we have a right to eat safe healthy food rather than unknowingly be fed frankenfoods. If they are going to produce products with frankenfood in them then we have a right to know if we are eating foods that will cause liver disfunction and tumors. Food prices will skyrocket for a period of one year and then the market will settle out.

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  4. West Virginia says:

    “organic foods are insanely expensive”? I do need to correct you here. The alternative to GM food is simply growing crops without using Monsanto’s GM seeds. Most crops in the US would still be grown using artificial fertiliser and chemical pesticides and herbicides so would not qualify as organic. No GM does NOT mean being forced to buy organic although organic food, amongst other things,cannot have GM ingredients. Proper labelling gives consumers a choice. Around 90% of corn, soy and canola grown in the US is from Monsanto’s GM seed with massive loss of diversity as a result. GM foods and byproducts are implicated in mammalian cancer, stillbirths, birth defects, multiple organ damage and organ failure. Growing GM seeds requires massive doses of Round-Up herbicide.. and resistance has developed to such an extent that other Agent Orange ingredients are being developed to replace it. Search on Monsanto Evil.. note that Google have it as a pre-selected search.. a deliberate decision by them..

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  5. Justin says:

    I absolutely support the idea of knowing what in the hell is in our foods. Anyone that thinks otherwise is simplest sticking their head in the ground and just hoping things are “ok.”. Additionally we, the American people should demand food that isn’t processed! If you want to eliminate CANCERS and a wide range of illnesses and diseases watch FORKS OVER KNIVES. Its not some hippie flick but rather data you can view and decide for yourself.

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  6. Science suggests that there will be consequences for eating foods designed to give off insecticide toxins. We are what we eat. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=vitamins-minerals-and-microrna

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  7. englishrob says:

    hello Alvin
    have been following your site for about 18 months and find it very interesting our takes on things are the same , but from different stand points. Monsanto should be BANNED, we do not know what genes control what function of the organism. It scientifically proven that some genes when turned on have one function and when turned off inhibit another function there is also a lot of cross relationships between genes and functions. untill we know what controls what, we should leave nature alone and adapt ourselves to fit in with the plan.
    peace.

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  8. me says:

    I too am trying to avoid GMOs. I cannot afford to shop organic but i do buy fresh and cook from scratch.

    We absolutely must insist on truth in labeling.

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  9. Megan says:

    I say bring on the genetically modified food! When my knee breaks because it’s old and arthritc, darn right I’ll get a robotic knee. When my heart gives out due to age, just build me a new one! I believe I’ve educated myself on the subject, and I have come to the conclusion that genetically modified food is perfectly safe. Of course, there’s always a cost to everything. I think the cost here is preserving the human race, but sacrificing comfortable living due to overpopulation.

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  10. Sam Beckett says:

    I live in California & support this 100%. When buying groceries I buy organic (when available), natural products that have the least amount of things added. For an example, ice cream. I buy Bryers, not sunny select, dryers, etc…because Bryers is natural. I will not buy products with artificial sweeteners, splenda, etc…I personally believe they should be banned, as it is very bad for you. I still want the gov’t to do more, such as pushing for all organic produce, making food companies make their products by natural means rather than artificial means, etc…

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  11. Sam Beckett says:

    I would like to add that, I have no doubt the reason why the cancer rate here is the highest in the world, is due to genectially modified food & artificial ingredients in our food. I also think that plays a role in why Anerica is the fattest country. Genectially modified food, & foods made with artificial ingredients is not that old, maybe 50, 60 years? The cancer rate keeps on climbing here as do other health related problems. Say no to genectially modified foods & foods made with artificial ingredients! Before you judge what I commented, breath, be calm & be objective for a few minutes & truly think on the subject.

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  12. frackenstein says:

    Hi Megan, those choices that you make about ‘replacement parts’ would presumably be based on your research and knowledge. And be described and warrantied by the manufacturer, plus be covered by a number of insurances in the case that something went wrong (depending under which legal juristiction you live). The same cannot be said with GMO foods. Nor can consumers who MUST eat, tell whether or not they are consuming ‘open field laboratory experiments’, that simply have not been tested on humans. I challenge you to post here, links to the INDEPENDENT, LONG TERM, PEER REVIEWED studies (ie not paid for by the industries set to profit from NOT doing proper science) that you base your confidence on.

    As Ken McClellan above posts, the basic function of Roundup resistant crops are to become mini insecticide factories. That ‘functionality’ is not neutralised when the produce (wheat, maize, canola) is ingested, going on to turn the gut into a mini insecticide factory. Not healthy, and possibly DNA damaging as well. Not enough long term research has been done to know. In the meantime, following the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE, consumers must be able to make informed choices, by having all GMO laced food clearly labelled (IMHO).

    As well, most GMO crops are bred to be infertile. That is, farmers must buy seed every year, rather than being able to hold back a proportion of the previous year to replant. This is especially disadvantageous for croppers in developing countries. Plus they are locked into buying the pesticides that each crop is genetically engineered to be resistant to, many of which kill the microbes and other natural soil remediators that enable the uptake of nutrients into the next years crop. Result is ‘dead soil’ after just 3-4 years. Search the outcome of GMO crops in India. 20 years after the ‘agricultural revolution’, there is now a dramatic reduction in yields.

    There are much much worse and more terrifying unknowns emerging from horizontal gene transfer now (synthetic biology rather than nature’s norm of vertical gene transfer ie. parent to offspring). Search Morgellons Syndrome. If human beings continue to ‘play god’ with the Creation, without the wisdom of God, I’m afraid our greed and ignorance will consign us to the fossil record.

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  13. niebo says:

    See Hulu, et al., for the documentary “The Future Of Food”, which details how the GM foods become such, via infection with viruses, for one, which are nature’s most efficient DNA parasites. It also explains how Monsanto sues farmers for patent infringement when their crops test positive for “registered” DNA, which is, literally, carried by the wind from factory farms to family farms and allows, with the collusion of the court system, Monsanto to shut down its competition.

    In Indonesia, when Monsanto-owned corporate farms began to grow GM crops, local farmers burned them to the ground….

    Just sayin’.

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  14. Marybell says:

    Monsanto is gonn kill us all. Bet the higher ups there do not eat this stuff

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  15. jehjeh007 says:

    Once the law is passed, then the next lie will be “Well we only have the genetically seeds and none of the none-altered seeds. So you have to eat altered stuff because it is what we plant anyway”. The fact is that they have been stashing the originals since the 70′s and indeed reproduce the fruit from them at a very high price from private farms. In essence, the pending law will not matter. Again, to little to late.

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  16. Phil says:

    Buying up farm land seems like a great idea until uncle Sam legallu claims it via executive order from the pres.

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  17. Jane Griffin says:

    Monsanto is one of the major globalist companies. Monsanto’s job is to kill off as many of us as possible through altering our food. One of the main goals of the globalists (e.g.Bill gates) is to reduce the population so they have fewer people they have to control. Bill Gates said:”that we need to reduce the population of the world and we can do this with vaccines,viruses and birth control.””
    And, yes, the cafeterias at Monsanto offices DO NOT ALLOW any GM food!!

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