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I went to the Yes on Prop 37 meeting at Mother’s Market in Santa Ana last Saturday to see Pamm Larry speak. She is the woman from Chico California who got the ball rolling to get GMO foods labeled. Larry is a perfect example of how one person can make a difference. Larry told the group that one day she finally got tired of complaining about what was happening to our food, so she learned more about GMO foods and how to apply for a California ballot initiative. Then she got together with a group of like-minded people and went to the state capital to do the necessary paperwork. The initiative called Prop 37 California Right to Know was born. Not bad for a grandmother of three and midwife with no political experience.
In case you have been living in a cave for the past couple of years, GMO stands for genetically modified foods. Some argue we have been genetically modifying foods for centuries and thats true but this is different. Injecting a virus into an apple is defintely not the same. How about some shrimp dna in your tomato? I love knowing that I have pesticide residue floating around my intestines from that corn chip. Not!
The meeting was created to get more people to volunteer for Phase Two; educating the public. Phase one was collecting enough signatures so the initiative could be placed on ballot. They needed 800,000 but got almost one million! Larry told the group, “we really only have 11 weeks to get the word out to the public. That’s when people start sending in their absentee ballots.” I know from my own personal experience, most people I talk to about GMOs have no idea what they are. We have a huge endeavor here and you know Monsanto and the biotech industry will do a media blast trying to scare Californians that their food cost will sky rocket if the industry is required to label. Biotech has the money and we need ‘boots on the ground’.
Larry said that this initiative is so important that other states are watching to see what happens in California. Remember what happened to the smoking initiative? 80% of people polled said they were for the cigarette tax but it failed by only a few hundred votes. We have to get this passed. We aren’t asking for a tax just a right to know what we are eating. Doesn’t everyone want to know what they are feeding their kids?
Larry doesn’t want to get into the science behind GMOs but instead wants to just push for labeling. Exactly what is the plan to educate others? They need people to go to their PTAs for endorsement, staff tables at farmer’s markets, visit small businesses, including restaurants and ask them to place a Yes on Prop 37 sign in their windows, speak at churches - You get the picture. Learn more about how you can get involved here: http://www.carighttoknow.org/ or you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can direct you to the person in charge of the many active groups we have in Orange County. I created an event page on Facebook where you can go online to openly endorse this: https://www.facebook.com/events/calendar#!/events/354560511278953/
Oh and tell anyone and everyone you meet to vote yes on prop 37! Yes! Its that important!