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Looks like the gloves are off and we are in the first round. Our friends from Monsanto and the Biotech Industry have a new website to fight against Yes on Prop 37. Of course their biggest fear tactic is the usual (and boring) “it will cost taxpayer billions!” Can’t they be more creative than that? That worn out tactic had been used from everything to universal healthcare to just about everything that comes out of the mouths of the GOP.
Let me start with the first paragraph from their “Fact Sheet”:
Proposition 37 would ban the sale of tens of thousands of perfectly-safe, common grocery products only in California unless they are specially repackaged, relabeled or made with higher cost ingredients. Prop 37 is a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, create new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions — without providing any health or safety benefits. That’s why Prop 37 is opposed by a broad coalition of family farmers, scientists, doctors, business, labor, taxpayers and consumers.
The word ‘banned’ is not anywhere in this proposition. Even China requires their GMO foods to be labeled, so do 50 other countries, so why carry on about California? Don’t tell me that it will cost more because manufacturers change their labels all the time. It’s called marketing. And they already do it for other countries, so why not here?
They claim they have farmers backing them up. I think they mean farmers who grow genetically modified soy, corn and sugar beets. At least 90% of those crops are genetically modified.
I found this story from ‘Food Democracy Now’ that says these farmers are not happy with Monsanto:
In March 2011, the Public Patent Foundation filed the landmark lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto on behalf of family farmers, seed businesses and farming organizations to challenge Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified (GMO) seeds and protect farmers from the biotech seed and chemical giant’s abusive patent infringement lawsuits.
And these farmers are definitely not fans of Monsanto and its Mafia style tactics:
Monsanto’s history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits brought against farmers in America have been a source of concern for organic and non-GMO farmers since Monsanto’s first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-90′s. Since then, 144 farmers have had lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for alleged violations of their patented seed technology. Monsanto has brought charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled out-of-court rather than face Monsanto’s belligerent litigious actions. Many of these farmers claim to not have had the intention to grow or save seeds that contain Monsanto’s patented genes. Seed drift and pollen drift from genetically engineered crops often contaminate neighboring fields. If Monsanto’s seed technology is found on a farmer’s land without contract they can be found liable for patent infringement.
Here’s another claim they make: PROP 37 CONFLICTS WITH SCIENCE
Biotechnology, also called genetic engineering (GE), has been used for nearly two decades to grow varieties of corn, soybeans and other crops that resist diseases and insects and require fewer pesticides. Thousands of common foods are made with ingredients from biotech crops. Prop 37 bans these perfectly safe foods only in California unless they’re specially relabeled or remade with higher cost ingredients. (Notice how they threw in the word ‘banned’ again?)
These scientists have a different opinion:
One of the nation’s most widely planted crops – a genetically engineered corn plant that makes its own insecticide – may be losing its effectiveness because a major pest appears to be developing resistance more quickly than scientists expected.
Over the last few summers, rootworms have feasted on the roots of Bt corn in parts of four Midwestern states, suggesting that some of the insects are becoming resistant to the crop’s pest-fighting powers.
Biotech claims that GMO corn is drought resistant. This guy doesn’t agree:
“Farmers are always looking to reduce losses from drought, but the biotechnology industry has made little real-world progress on this problem,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, a plant pathologist and senior scientist for UCS. “Despite many years of research and millions of dollars in development costs, DroughtGard doesn’t outperform the non-engineered alternatives.”
Monsanto is not the only biotech business but they are the largest. Bayer, Dupont, and Dow are also major players. Dow is now seeking approval for its “Agent Orange Corn”. If all these chemicals and GMOs are safe, then why is there still concern?
A new kind of genetically modified crop under the brand name of “Enlist” — known by its critics as “Agent Orange corn” — has opponents pushing U.S. regulators to scrutinize the product more closely and reject an application by Dow AgroSciences to roll out its herbicide-resistant seeds.The corn has been genetically engineered to be immune to 2,4-D, an ingredient used in Agent Orange that some say could pose a serious threat to the environment and to human health.
Here’s more information from the Center for Food Safety and their thoughts about spraying Agent Orange on crops:
AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY companies such as Monsanto and Dow have recently created new genetically engineered (GE) crops to be resistant to highly toxic herbicides, including 2,4-D, one of the main ingredients in Agent Orange, the deadly chemical defoliant used by the U.S. in the Vietnam War. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently considering approval of one of these novel GE crops. If approved, millions more pounds of this hazardous chemical will be sprayed, polluting our food, water, and air. This is just the latest effort in the corporate chemical arms race, and it will cause serious harm to human health and the environment.
Stay tuned for more articles where I “fact check” more of Bio Industry’s claims about GMOs and why they think we don’t have the right to know what we are eating.