California Ballot Initiative in November to Determine the Future of Biotech Food
A California ballot initiative in November, if defeated, will open the floodgates for corporations like Monsanto to poison us as never before, but if passed it will be a godsend to us all.
- Monsanto, the biggest corporate bully of them all
- Initiative bypasses legislature
- The grassroots speaks
- E-mail and call your friends
Monsanto, the biggest corporate bully of them all
"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job." - Phil Angell, Director of Corporate Communications, Monsanto Chemical Company, quoted in the New York Times, October 25, 1998.
"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." - Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Company, a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994.
For over two decades Monsanto Chemical Corporation has strong-armed farmers, supermarket chains and giant food processors, and bribed politicians very successfully to have its way in the area of food production, and because of its policies farmers by the thousands have committed suicide in India.
Now, a statewide initiative is on the ballot this coming November in California which will, if passed, give its citizens the right to know whether the food they buy is contaminated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If the initiative is successful it will be a game-changer of enormous magnitude, because it will stop the current practice of labeling genetically engineered food as "natural."
Initiative bypasses legislature
The California State Assembly is dominated by Republicans from the agricultural central valley, and the California State Senate, though nominally controlled by the Democrats, is nearly as bought and paid for as the assembly by big agribusiness. The genius of the initiative process in California is that if you can secure enough signatures to qualify your initiative for the ballot, you can bypass the legislature and the will of the people can sometimes prevail as a result.
The grassroots speaks
A veritable slew of grassroots organizations, not just in California, but all across America, have joined forces to support the passage of the initiative. If passed, other states will follow California, and millions of consumers will be able to identify, and boycott if they so choose, foods that have been genetically engineered.
Currently, the authorities in California are cracking down on organic farms and raw milk dairies, going so far as to set swat teams upon them. Such is the power of corporations like Monsanto that they can dictate to us that we must eat the poison they produce under penalty of law, such as milk that contains Bovine Growth Hormone. (See my article Multi Agency Raid hits Rawesome Foods, Healthy Family Farms.)
E-mail and call your friends
If you have relatives or friends living in California, you are urged to call them or write them and implore them to vote in November for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
In Vermont, where the legislature had been considering a bill to label GMO foods, Monsanto threatened to sue the state if a bill was passed, and now many Vermont legislators have backed down under the threat and the bill is languishing in committee. Efforts to pass legislation requiring the proper labeling of foods has never gone anywhere, but with this initiative the power returns to the people, and we may be on the verge, as we say here in America, of a whole new ball game.
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Preview photo from alternet.org
Factory farm photo from wikimedia commons
Raiders photo from latimes.com
Monsanto logo photo from wikimedia commons