GMO Labeling! Lets Do it!

Well, Prop 37 got narrowly defeated in CA and we will soon have our chance to vote on labeling GMOs:

For now, you can modify your shopping habits and avoid buying genetically modified foods by avoiding foods by companies listed below that paid millions to prevent the labeling campaign in CA. Easiest thing to do that many of us are already doing is to buy as much local, organic as we can and grow our own.

In the meantime, please be aware:

The Nine Genetically Engineered Crops on the Market in the U.S.

  •    Corn
  •    Soybeans
  •    Canola
  •    Cotton
  •    Sugar Beets
  •    Alfalfa
  •    Hawaiian Papaya
  •    Zucchini
  •    Yellow Crookneck Squash

Chances are if you are eating any of the foods listed above, unless they are grown organically, you are already eating genetically modified foods (GMO). Big corporations that use genetically modified ingredients do not want you to know what is in their food. BUT we the people like 40 other nations want gmo foods labeled and would not knowingly purchase foods made with genetically modified corn, soy, sugar, canola….  If we can decrease sales of a specific product by 5%, companies listed below would then consider replacing GMOs with non-GMO ingredients.

According to the Food & Water Watch, the ag-biotech and chemical industries spent $572 million on lobbying from 1999-2010 to get the food policies that they wanted. It was all done behind closed doors, and citizens observed nothing.

Yet with Proposition 37 in California, the opposition had to do their fighting (manipulation) in the public domain and we were able to witness all of their deceptive tactics first-hand.

As a result, awareness about GMOs has never been greater, and the Proposition 37 loss has completely galvanized the organic and health-minded communities to take its fight against GMOs to the next level.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

1) Make sure that you sign up for Just Label It. This is the national campaign to get labeling approved on the federal level and it is led by Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg.

He is constantly meeting with the White House, and we need to arm him with tangible evidence that A LOT of people want GMOs to be labeled.

Right now, we have a little under two million citizens on board but frankly this is not nearly enough. It must be tens and tens of millions.

2) With nearly two dozen states that are considering GMO-legislation, it is important that people be involved on the state level.

There is a grassroots initiative called The Coalition of States for GMO Labeling (no website just yet). 30 states have formal groups that have already been established and activities are ongoing. They include:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

If you would like to be involved with one of these groups or if you would like to start a group in your own state (assuming that it isn’t listed above), please contact Tara Cook-Littman at: gmolabelingstatecoalition@gmail.com

Tara is heading up the Connecticut group.

3) Become part of a brand new initiative called GMO Inside, which just launched today.

According to John Roulac, CEO/Founder of Nutiva and one of the leaders of this group, “GMO inside’s goal is to bring greater awareness to consumers nationwide about the dangers of GMOs and educate on what they can do to make a change.”

GMO Inside will provide tools and resources for Americans to find the GMOs in a wide-range of products and brands on grocery shelves, and give people organic and non-GMO alternatives. It will also create communities of people who are concerned about GMOs and who will support each others’ efforts to label GMOs and avoid products containing them.

I am very excited about GMO Inside and will personally be involved with activities in New York City.

4) Lastly, and arguably most importantly, we need to take our fight to the cash register by boycotting products that contain GMOs.

At the end of the day, profitability is the only thing Big Food cares about, and nothing will get their attention faster than hitting them where it hurts the most – their bottom line.

The number that I have heard is 5%. If we can decrease sales of a specific product by 5%, companies would then consider replacing GMOs with non-GMO ingredients.

We can never underestimate the power of voting with our dollars.

Here are the companies, and their brands, who spent a total of $49 million to defeat GMO-labeling in California. They do not want us to know what is in our food and we can never let them forget this.

Taken from the California Secretary of State website, the corporations below had made financial contributions to defeat Proposition 37.

PepsiCo – (Pepsi, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Frito-Lay, Tostitos, Gatorade, Naked Juice)

Nestle – (Nestle, Gerber, Perrier, Poland Spring, Pellegrino, Nescafe, Nestea, Dreyer’s, Alpo, Purina, PowerBar, Jenny Craig)

Hershey Company – (Hershey’s Chocolate, Kit-Kat, Almond Joy, Twizzlers, Reese’s, Dagoba)

Dean Foods – (Horizon Organic, Silk, Land O’Lakes, Garelick Farms, Meadow Farms, Dean’s)

Mars – (Mars, M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Uncle Ben’s, Doublemint, Skittles, Starburst, Seeds of Change, Alterra Coffee, Pedigree)

Coca-Cola North America – (Coke, Diet Coke, Minute Maid, Odwalla, Honest Tea, Dasani, Vitamin Water)

Rich Products Corporation – (SeaPak, Byron’s, FarmRich)

Ocean Spray Cranberries – (Ocean Spray juices and dried fruit)

Kellogg’s – (Kellogg’s products, Kashi, Bear Naked, Gardenburger, Morningstar Farm)

General Mills – (Cheerios, Wheaties, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Lara Bar, Liberte, Yoplait, Nature Valley)

Dole – (Dole, Dole Organic)

Pinnacle Foods Group – (Aunt Jemima, Duncan Hines, Hungry Man, Van de Kamps, Vlasic)

Del Monte – (Del Monte Products, Wolfgang Puck organic soups)

Campbell Soup – (Campbell’s, Swanson, V8, Prego)

Morton Salt

McCormick & Company

Inventure Foods – (Jamba Smoothies, Burger King Fries, T.G.I.Fridays Potato Skins – each one is a licensee)

Sunny Delight – (SunnyD)

Sara Lee – (Sara Lee, Hillshire Farms, Jimmy Dean, State Fair)

McCain Foods – (Anchor, Farmer’s Kitchen, Redstone Canyon)

Land O’ Lakes

J.M. Smucker Company – (Smucker’s products, Santa Cruz Organic, R.W. Knudsen)

Hormel Foods – (Hormel, Herdez, Spam, Valley Fresh)

Godiva Chocolate

Bumble Bee Foods – (Bumble Bee, King Oscar, Beach Cliff)

Bimbo Bakeries – (Arnold, Bimbo, Ball Park, Entenmann’s, Earthgrains)

Special thanks to Max Goldberg. This blog post is adapted from his blog: livingmaxwell.com A guide to organic food and drink.

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