Consumerism, Economics, GMOs, Health & Disease, Society — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 8, 2012
I awoke this morning eager to find out the results of November 6th’s voting in the U.S. of A. And no, I’m not talking about the tiresome presidential election….
The voting I’m referring to is in regards to Proposition 37 — the bill aimed at getting GMO-containing foodstuffs labelled in California. As recent posts in our GMO category will tell you, I’ve been keen to see people backing this bill, so they can be empowered with the right to choose.
This bill was, to me, a ‘no brainer’. It would simply serve to legislate what should be a basic human right — the right to know. But, as is usually the case where basic rights and simple ethics come up against financial interests, the money clouds the issue and wins almost every time.
Proposition 37 was quashed yesterday, under the weight of over 45 million dollars worth of corporate-funded media campaigning. Only a few weeks ago, polling had the ‘yes’ vote (that’s yes to labelling) at over 60%, but then Monsanto and its Big Industry friends (including DuPont, Bayer, DOW Agrisciences, Pepsico Inc., Kellogg, General Mills, and other ‘food’ and pesticide companies) let loose a flurry of deceptive radio and television adverts, carefully designed to herd Californians back into their monopolistic, plutocratic fold. "That’s it people — hurry along now. Trust us, we know what we’re doing… and where we’re going…".
Now that November 6 has passed us by, and GMOs are still free to promiscuously wander Californian shelves without labelling, the No to 37 campaign’s methods of working are under the spotlight, along with accusations of blatant criminal fraud.
As I type, the sleet and rain outside does nothing to improve my mood, as I realise that even today people will succumb to the most ludicrous arguments — where corporate brainwashing can get the general public to not only desire their own destruction, but to even venture out into the community to vote for measures that will help ensure it (à la cartoon at top).
And yet, I take heart in the knowledge that although yesterday’s battle may be lost, the war is only beginning. The ‘No’ vote, despite the massive funding behind it, overcame by only a slim margin. This means that there is a large and growing momentum in understanding in the U.S.A., and I hope we will see this ballot-based bill move from state to state, until the victory is won.
I think it’s important to consider a base problem here. Laws are being drawn up and implemented, not because of debate, not through sound argument, reason, or through holistically joining the dots across civilisation to get the clearest picture of the best way forward. Rather, they’re being imposed on an unsuspecting public by a disgustingly wealthy and biased corporate elite who have only their own best (but short term) interests at heart. Until we get the money out of politics, which means getting industry out of politics, efforts along these lines will always be one step forwards, and two back.
While we figure out exactly how to do that, there is something direct you can do in the interim to help ensure the next ballot has increased chances of success — you can punish those pretentious ‘natural’ brands who helped finance the No to 37 campaign, by boycotting their products: