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Did Monsanto Win Prop 37? Round One in the Food Fight of Our Lives

Prop 37 has exposed the dark side of Big Ag and Big Food, and their desperation to keep U.S. consumers in the dark about whether or not our food has been genetically engineered.

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Prop 37 may change that, now that legislators have seen just how powerful this movement is – and how vulnerable their political careers may be if they continue to cast their votes against their constituents in favor of corporate lobbyists.

The Organic Consumers Association and our allies will now mobilize our growing base of organic consumers and natural health advocates to educate the public and pass GMO labeling laws across the country. Our narrow loss in California at the hands of dirty money and dirty politics has only strengthened  our resolve and energize our grassroots army.

Prop 37 has fueled Americans growing outrage toward the role of corporate cash and indentured media. In the wake of this bitterly contested battle, food activists will continue to expose companies such as Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Dean Foods, and Pepsi, who donated millions to quash Prop 37 and who make billions of dollars by deceiving consumers with their so-called “natural” brands, produced with genetic engineering, toxic pesticides, and climate-disrupting chemical fertilizers. We will not rest until consumers understand that so-called "conventional" or "natural" products are a fraud, posing unacceptable risks to public human health and the environment.

We hold out faint hope that our Monsanto-controlled FDA will respond to consumer demand for a national GMO labeling law, even though a GMO labeling petition garnered more signatures than any FDA petition in history. We’re equally skeptical that President Obama will honor his 2007 campaign promise to label GMOs, given his history of pandering to Big Ag and smoothing the way for faster approval of GMO crops. Yet we welcome these national grassroots lobbying efforts for their ability to broaden public awareness and build support for one of the most critical food policy issues of our time. So we’ll keep up the pressure on the Obama administration in their second term.

We are witnessing one of the greatest consumer awakenings in recent times. Consumers are more ready than ever to help us pressure the marketplace for truth and transparency in labeling, especially when it comes to GMO labeling laws. They’re ready to help us promote those companies who are on the right side of consumers, and expose those who aren’t. They’re willing to take on multi-billion companies like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's who can – and should – support  consumer’s right to know by immediately beginning to implement the voluntary labeling of the thousands of foods in their stores that contain GMOs.

So, go ahead, Monsanto and DuPont. Celebrate while you can. Your dirty money and dirty tricks have knocked us down. But we're back on our feet, energized and battle-savvy.

Round one in the food fight of our lives is over. But the battle has just begun.

 

Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica

Katherine Paul is director of development and communications at the Organic Consumers Association.

 
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