In California, in November 2013, we had a statewide vote on Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of all foods that had GMOs within their product. The citizens of California donated 8 million dollars to this cause. Monsanto and the other food giants contributed over 50 million dollars to defeat this ballot initiative. The citizens of California lost by 1.5 percent. Well, between October 18 and November 5, Washington State citizens will have their chance to require GMO-labeling on the people’s initiative 522 “The People Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.”
At this point the polls indicate a possible turning point in the 20-year effort to require GMO-labeling in the United States. The people who want to require GMO-labeling is significantly larger than the group of people who oppose GMO-labeling. Frankly, Washington State is scared. Three of their primary crops (salmon, wheat, and apples) are progressing toward more and more GMO contamination. The public – the person who orders a salmon dinner at a local restaurant with the salmon coming all the way from Washington State – doesn’t know it. However, the people from around the world know it because most countries require GMO-labeling. Just not the United States of America.
Why is Washington State so important to those of us who do not live in that state? First, it’s crucial because the average American currently eats 150 pounds of GMO foods per year. It could be that salmon you order at a restaurant. Or it could be that apple you pick up at the grocery store. Second, it’s crucial because more and more scientific studies are showing the damage caused by GMOs to animals and humans. Third, it’s crucial because it just takes one state to triumph for the nation to triumph. How does that happen? Because the big food companies can’t absorb the cost of having to label just those foods that are sold in Washington State. If the Washington ballot wins, those companies will have to make a simple cost-effective decision. Do we label all products? Or do we remove GMOs?
Do you know what is most likely to occur if we can win in just one state? It happened within Europe in the 1990s. There was a governmental decision to require GMO labeling in any food products. Many of the major food companies decided to remove GMOs rather than go through the additional cost of labeling GMOs. Even companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken made the decision – in Europe, not in the United States – to remove GMOs from their chickens. Since that change, do you know what has happened? Europe has spent decreasing money on health care per capita while we have spent progressively more on health care per capita – the highest cost of any industrial country in the world.
So, here is my advice. In these blogs there will never be a request for financial donation to any fund. But just keep you eye on the election and be aware of the possibility of a turning point, which could translate into improved health for all Americans. With our health care system debate, you want good health! Until Washington State triumphs, also keep watching those chemical companies that market themselves a food companies, including Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, and BASF. Do not listen to their propaganda. Instead, think about the GMOs and all of the additional chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides) that are ruining the health of our crops, our animals, and us. Fingers crossed for a turning point, yes? Toward a better life.