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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No on Prop 37 - Mandatory Food Labeling


Prop 37 would require mandatory labeling to show the percent content of food products grown from genetically modified (GM) seeds.  Specifically, Prop 37 targets the modern biotech process of precise gene splicing, rather than the earlier and more haphazard method of gene modification, the crossbreeding of hybrids.

Proponents want us to vote yes on 37 because (quote) - "We have a right to know what is in our food". I have some problems with that feel-good campaign slogan. First, the desire for information is definitely not a "right", because no one has a legitimate right to force other people to do anything for them.  Second, the use of the term "our food" is deceptive because the mandatory labeling applies to the food while it still belongs to the food companies. They may choose to sell us food if profitable, but they are under no obligation to feed anyone.

So a more honest version of the pro-37 campaign slogan would be: We have a desire to force food companies to tell us how their food was grown, to help us decide if we want to buy it. That's better, but I still have a problem with the use of the word "we"?  To whom does that refer? It certainly is not millions of consumers, because if they really were demanding GM labeling, natural market forces of profit and competition would have supplied it to them without the need for a law. Rather, it is the special interest groups supporting Prop 37 who want consumers to be aware of, and be alarmed about, GM content.

Who are these GM alarmist proponents and what are their motivations? They are: organic food companies, litigation attorneys, and environmental organizations. For organic food companies, they stand to possibly double their market share if they can get more people to fear and avoid GM food, since organic food is labeled GM-free. For litigation attorneys, they expect a bonanza of lucrative shake-down lawsuits by attacking food companies for alleged non-compliance with the new labeling law. Higher food prices will result.

As for environmental organizations, they routinely make horrendous unfounded claims about GM food and many other chemicals in order to boost their fear-driven funding stream. Their ultimate goal is nothing less than a world-wide forced ban of GM seeds, just like they have promoted needless and harmful bans of numerous other chemicals and technologies. Their antics will result in less food, more expensive food, more hunger for the world's poor, and ultimately fewer people on planet earth. That fits environmentalist long term goals perfectly.

GM seeds are a free-market development, not a government secret birth-control plot, as some claim. GM food, currently estimated at 70% of all groceries, has benefitted us with more food at lower cost, using less land, fewer herbicides, and reduced pesticides,. GM food has been consumed by millions of people over the last two decades without harm, environmentalist lies to the contrary. Ironically, GM technology is actually more safe and far better for the environment than all earlier methods, including organic. Please don't assist Big Green in its selfish effort to ban this great new technology; vote no on Prop 37.

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