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Saturday morning, “Operation Shopping Cart” participants lined up along Pacific Coast Highway across from the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the planned meeting place for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) ”Litigation” Conference next week. The event was organized by D’Marie Mullattieri who works for “California Clean Money Campaign” (CCMC). The CCMC was formed after the California DISCLOSE Act, SB 520 was introduced by Senators Mark Leno and Jerry Hill. The purpose of the bill is to:
• Lets voters know who really is paying for political ads — on the ads themselves.
• Political ads will have to clearly and prominently list their three largest funders.
• “Follow-the-money” disclosure stops special interests from hiding.
• Applies to all kinds of political ads, including television, radio, print advertising, and websites.
In Washington State, the GMA was caught violating their Disclosure Act by allowing food companies like Coca Cola to dump millions of dollars into fighting I-522, the GMO labeling initiative while deceptively concealing their identities. They waited until two weeks before voters went to the polls to spend $7.2 million. Their objective? To confuse voters with deceptive advertising and it worked. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the GMA for money laundering. We shall see how that ends up.
The problems started when the Supreme Court claimed that corporations are people and Citizens United was born. Since then billions of dollars have been spent by corporations to make sure they always win. The only way to overturn Citizen’s United is by a Constitutional Amendment. At the moment I don’t see anyone from Congress interested in seeing that happen. These same corporations give huge donations to politicians whose main agenda is to get re-elected. Why would they “bite the hand that feeds them?”
There isn’t just the problem of labeling GMOs, there are other things hiding in your food that you wouldn’t even think of. Some are deceptive and others are outright fraud! And its perfectly legal!
According to the USP database, products being sold as olive oil have been shown to instead be soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, canola, or palm oil, and in one case, even lard! I was in a grocery store today and looked for myself. The front of the bottle said extra virgin olive oil but the label on the back said it was mixed with canola oil and only contained 10% olive oil. If I hadn’t read about our foods being deceptively advertised, I would never have known to check if the oil was actually 100% pure olive oil.
Honey and maple syrup have been thinned out with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), without that ingredient being disclosed on labels. According to investigations by Food Safety News, 75 percent of the honey sold in the U.S. doesn’t even contain pollen.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has repeatedly accused juice companies of deceiving consumers with juices that are sold as “Cherry Berry” that in fact contain 0 percent cherry or berry juice, are flavored with artificial flavors, and contain mostly apple or grape juice as cheap fillers.
Berry Blast PowerBar has pictures of blue berries on their package but when you check the ingredients, blue berries are nowhere on the list. Power bars aren’t the only food that contains “fake” fruit, just read the back of most brand name cereal boxes these days. Why use real fruit when the taste can be recreated in a lab?
In 2012 Starbucks was busted for selling their fruity Frappuccino’s with crushed bugs as an ingredient. The red food coloring came from cochineal insect that gave it a reddish color. They have since stopped using it, but pick up a container of strawberry Yoplait and you will see the ingredient called carmine – translation, cochineal insect.
All these ingredients are considered “natural” by the FDA and that includes beaver butt juice. If the ingredients list something called Castoreum, you can bet it’s beaver butt juice.
This is only a very small list of foods that are deceptively or fraudulently labeled that we feed our kids everyday. Now these same companies want the right to call their GMO ingredients natural as well. Will the box say, “Fortified with natural GMOs”? I doubt it but I’m sure the box will say natural, minus the fact that there are GMOs hidden inside. I do not see anything natural about foods that are created in laboratories.
The GMA will continue to ignore Disclosure Laws and food manufacturers will continue to “fool” the public in to believing that what they are selling is “real” food unless we stop them.
The Overpass Light Brigade will be hosting a “No Way GMA” event this Tuesday night. The public is invited to join them.
If you want to do something, but standing on a sidewalk holding a sign isn’t your thing, there are other ways to get your voice heard. California Senator Noreen Evans just introduced a bill, SB 1381, which she calls a “cleaner simpler version of Prop 37.” In Washington D.C. Lawmakers, representatives from the organic food industry and consumer groups are urging the White House to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, arguing that the president should follow through with a 2007 campaign promise he made to take action on the issue. You can do the same by emailing or calling both your California representative and the White House.
*** I sent an email to Eve Kasper who is in charge of registration for the GMA conference. I wanted information about what I needed to get inside as a member of the press. I just got her response and I quote, “Good morning. This conference is closed to the press. Thank you and have a great day.” I find her response interesting. The TPPA which prides itself as a secret organization even allowed media access. Exactly what is the GMA hiding from the public?