Debunked: 6 Lies That Biotech and Big Food Are Telling Voters About Prop 37
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2. BUNK: Prop 37 means higher prices at the checkout counter
What better way to scare consumers than to threaten higher prices at the checkout? Legitimate studies – and more compellingly, evidence from countries that have already passed GMO laws - are clear: Requiring GMO foods to be labeled doesn’t mean you’ll pay more for your food.
In 1997, opponents of GMO labeling laws in Europe used the same scare tactics, threatening double-digit increases in food prices if government required mandatory labeling. But food prices didn’t go up, according to David Byrne, then-European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Parliament.
And they won’t go up in California either, says an independent economic assessment of Prop 37, conducted by Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Ph.D., a professor at Emory University School of Law. Among Bailey’s findings - backed by empirical literature and historical precedents – is that companies would rather absorb the “trivial” costs associated with labeling, than risk passing them on to consumers.
What’s the basis for the NO campaign’s fear mongering? Their own bought-and-paid-for, flawed and highly biased economic analysis of Prop37. It was conducted by Northbridge Environmental Management Consultants, a consulting firm with no economic expertise and best known for opposing recycling laws for the soda pop industry.
For more on GMO labeling and food costs, read this statement by the Yes on 37 campaign.
3. BUNK: GMOs have been proven safe for your health.
Who are you going to believe when it comes to whether or not GMOs are bad for your health? Henry Miller, the pro-tobacco guy who once claimed that nicotine is “not particularly bad for you in the amounts delivered by cigarettes or smokeless products”?
Or real doctors and real scientists – not the ones that are on biotech company payrolls – who are calling for mandatory pre-market safety testing and more health studies with each passing day?
Thanks to a decision made 20 years ago and credited to Michael Taylor, the former Monsanto lobbyist-turned- Deputy Commissioner for Policy for the FDA (1991 to 1994), the FDA declared GMOs “not substantially different” from non-GMOs. That fateful decision cleared the way for Big Biotech and Big Food to serve up GMO-tainted foods without any pre-market safety testing whatsoever.
Is it mere coincidence that over the past 15 years – since GMOs have become almost ubiquitous in processed foods – allergies, auto-immune diseases, obesity, liver disease, infertility, and cancer have been on the rise?
The American Public Health Association, American Medical Students Association, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Physicians for Social Responsibility, California chapters, the California Nurses Association, and other public health groups that have endorsed Prop 37 don’t think so.
Neither do scientists in France who recently released results of the first-ever long-term study of the health consequences for rats fed a lifetime diet of GMO corn. Nor does Michael Hansen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Consumer Reports, who points out that if GE ingredients aren’t labeled it’s awfully difficult to even identify an unexpected health effect resulting from a GE food.
There’s plenty of scientific evidence linking GMOs to a wide spectrum of health issues. And yet according to a recent report, Americans eat their weight in GMO foods every year. If the FDA won’t require mandatory safety testing to guarantee the safety of GMO foods, then labeling them – so we can avoid them – is our only defense against eating foods that could damage our health.
4. BUNK: Prop 37 will provoke an avalanche of lawsuits.