$34.4 Million Can’t Seem to Buy Prop 37 Opponents Their Own Facts

Zack Kaldveer
Calitics / News Analysis
Published: Monday 1 October 2012
The companies bankrolling the opposition campaign - including pesticide giants Monsanto ($7.2 million) and Dupont ($4.9 million) - will say and spend anything to prevent the kind of transparency that labeling of genetically modified foods (GMO’s) would provide.
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Apparently $34.4 million in pesticide and junk food money can't buy the opponents of Proposition 37 their own set of facts.

Case in point: A new L.A. Times poll shows Prop 37 winning by more than a 2-to-1 margin among registered California voters. And, according to the recent Pepperdine poll, the opposition's support actually dropped four points over the past two weeks.

So while their treasure trove of special interest money can pay for an endless supply of tired, discredited talking points, it can't seem to convince consumers we don't deserve to know what's in the food we eat.

It's not hard to understand why. The companies bankrolling the opposition campaign - including pesticide giants Monsanto ($7.2 million) and Dupont ($4.9 million) - will say and spend anything to prevent the kind of transparency that labeling of genetically modified foods (GMO's) would provide. And without transparency there can be no accountability.

Here ARE a few facts: A growing body of research links GMO foods to potential health risks, increased pesticide use, the emergence of super bugs and super weeds, biodiversity loss, and the unintentional contamination of conventional crops.

What Prop 37 will do is add a line of ink to a label -- as is currently required for 3,000 other ingredients -- so consumers know which products have been altered in a laboratory.  That's why the vast majority of Californians support this common-sense measure, and it's why 50 other countries already require that GMOs be labeled.

But that's not all: This summer, Monsanto began selling its first GMO sweet corn product at Walmart. The sweet corn is engineered to withstand the herbicide Roundup and also contains an insecticide (Bt toxin) within the cells of the corn.

Are your children eating Monsanto's latest concoction? You won't know because we don't require labeling. In response to Walmart's decision to undermine the will of its customers , the Yes on 37 campaign released a new ad highlighting the fact that California children are eating unlabeled GMO sweet corn without their parents knowing it.

And now, the recently published (in the highly regarded journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology), first long-term, peer-reviewed animal study involving GMO corn found massive tumors, organ failure and premature death in rats. The findings have prompted the French government to call for an investigation into GMOs, and Russia to suspend imports of GMO corn.

The study was roundly criticized by Monsanto's band of scientists, who were out in force trying to discredit the study design - but what they failed to mention is that Monsanto's own studies that supposedly indicate "safety" are based on the same study design: similar size study, same rats.  The only real differences is that the French study was free of industry influence and pressure, was more comprehensive and stringent, and was long-term rather than short.

The most shocking thing of all about the French study is that it is the first long-term feeding study on genetically engineered corn that has been on the American market for more than 15 years. So where's the science? The reason we have been denied such critical information is that biotech companies like Monsanto have controlled and suppressed research.

We need, and deserve, more independent research in this area. In the meantime, we have a right to know and to decide for ourselves whether we want to eat Monsanto's corn. Prop 37 will give us that right.



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ABOUT Zack Kaldveer

Zack Kaldveer is the assistant media director for the Yes on Prop 37 campaign. Zack is the former Communications Director of the Consumer Federation of California and Editor of the California Progress Report. He has also worked as an advocate, writer, and strategist on a diverse range of local, statewide, and national issues including environmental and economic justice, education reform, privacy rights, election integrity, corporate accountability, peace and nuclear non-proliferation, and human rights.

 

Amazing! Money can't buy

Amazing! Money can't buy everything, after all! Does that surprise the folks who want to repeal the SCOTUS Citizens United decision and think a constitutional amendment will change the way corporate money dominates politics? Mental atrophy is a self-inflicted disease that can't be cured by donating money to politicians or special-interest groups, even well-intentioned ones. Save your money and go on a cruise, or maybe tour a German manufacturing giant (like Siemens) that knows how to create jobs while American industries whine about "risk" and taxes. By the way, Siemens is pretty good at curing mental atrophy.

http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-

http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/campaigns/EU-farmers-ditch-GM-crops/

Monsanto is evil for sooo

Monsanto is evil for sooo many reasons
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805

Here's a thought... My real

Here's a thought... My real intention on coming here is to keep a scientific voice in this emotional discussion, and provide balance for curious readers. If you would like to try an exercise, let's set up a Google Hangout and we'll discuss. Pick a few scientific papers (not websites or opinions) and I'll get you copies and we'll talk about their strengths and weaknesses. Actually we can do websites and opinions too, then we'll refute them with science when applicable.

My goal here is to add what an independent, academic scientist knows about the field. If you'd like to develop such a discussion I'd be glad to participate. Just email me at my username here at gmail, or just dial me up on the web.

Let's do it. We'd have fun. Every time I talk to antiGM audiences the night always ends closing a bar and having a few beers. I'm easy to talk to and at the very least will help you focus your arguments.

... and I've offered the same

... and I've offered the same to Jeffrey Smith and he will not do it.

MLANE, exactly, perfectly,

MLANE, exactly, perfectly, wrong. First of all nobody "believes GMOs are good for you". We have no evidence of harm from objective studies. Next, as an academic plant scientist there is not one person I know in thousands from my field that calls the technology dangerous. Not one. I don't work for MON, never did, and do not "profit from (GMO) use in other ways". When you make statements like this it shows that you are willing to make up information without a shred of evidence.

And the anti-GM position is the same as the right-wing climate deniers. Science shows clearly that antopomorphic climate change is real. Only activists and conservatives think it is not real. They pick out a few minor kook studies to reinforce their positions. Same with anti-GM. There is no evidence of harm in peer-reviewed literature except for Seralini (who sells you books on this stuff) and other minor works of no impact. You hero, Jeff Smith, is a profiteer from his books that is not a scientist, yet you believe him over scientists.

Sorry, that makes you the denier, a fringe kook steeped in belief that can't see science.

Prop 37 is truly minimalist:

Prop 37 is truly minimalist: a product could contain 1 kind of GMO or 101 kinds; the label wouldn't distinguish the number of kinds of GMOs, or the number of distinct product ingredients that themselves incorporate GMOs, but just the fact that there is at least one kind of GMO present. That sort of info may seem crude, but it's a necessary start. Something like the long-in-force Prop 65: which simply requires labeling of a product that contains at least one known carcinogen - but may well contain 101 of them.

Many GMOs are patented. If Monsanto et al were really concerned to ensure legal protection of (and demonstrated pride in) an allegedly superior product, they would be pushing for extensive labeling that displays the patent numbers of each of their GMOs used in a product. Especially if they deemed their GMO-laced product really better for consumers than competitors' GMO-laced versions or than GMO-free versions.

It also exempts too many

It also exempts too many products.

It will pass, but will never survive legal challenge after. If you read "Findings" in section 1, the justification for the Act is all nonsense. In a court of law, with objective, independent scientists evaluating these claims, its DOA.

Just like when the people wanted creation to be taught in Kansas. The judge was wise enough to not allow people's beliefs overtake reality.

What? Kevin Folta would be

What? Kevin Folta would be shocked! We are all just not as sophisticated as him. He'll be along in a minute to explain to us that if you disagree with Monsanto and GMOs you are on par with 'creationists' in terms of your unsophisticated outlook. He will write a long convoluted response. Here's the translation so you can save yourself the time.

Translation: Just trust 'real scientists' and Monsanto. Like what's wrong with that??

Hi Murray! I'm not shocked

Hi Murray! I'm not shocked at all. Proponents are feel-gooders that don't know good science when they see it. You guys call me a shill for a company and I even get death threats. Why? Because I'm an independent, academic scientist that can evaluate the real data, the actual literature, and does not reach your conclusion. Galileo is spinning in his grave.

My responses are not "long and convoluted" as much as complete and scientific. Your statement again reveals your inability to think and discuss on that level. That's fine, not everyone can be an expert. However, don't trash the experts that try to assist you.

Oh! You're a scientist! I'm

Oh! You're a scientist! I'm very happy for you. I'm a father of two who wants to make the best choices for my boys. Guess what. My right to choose based on the information given to me, not hidden from me, pisses all over your science degree. If Albert Einstein swore on a stack of bibles that genetically changing an organism so that it can withstand more Round-Up (which I believe to be a carcinogen) didn't cause cancer i still wouldnt believe it. You are clearly no Einstein and I'm not going blindly trust you.

Also I had to laugh when you called me a liar in your previous post. If you knew how to read you would've heard me say that we should label products clearly so the choice to eat biocides (spelt with a 'c') was my choice. I do not lie when I say this because this is my position. How is that lying? Don't worry I'm sure some people will associate the inability to spell with genius. I don't.

Whether the science says its good or bad is irrelevant. Get over that. What matters is choice. Simple. Done. It has nothing to do with climate change science or creationism or any other concept related to science. The fact that you ARE a scientist makes you irrelevant. Some people don't care if they eat biocides. You are obviously one of them. Fine. I don't want to eat them. I don't want my kids on the same planet with Monsanto's junk. I want the choice. Label the food. This is very, very simple. Your responses are long and convoluted. They don't address the issue of choice. They are a spectacle to behold however.

What? Kevin Folta would be

What? Kevin Folta would be shocked! We are all just not as sophisticated as him. He'll be along in a minute to explain to us that if you disagree with Monsanto and GMOs you are on par with 'creationists' in terms of your unsophisticated outlook. He will write a long convoluted response. Here's the translation so you can save yourself the time.

Translation: Just trust 'real scientists' and Monsanto. Like what's wrong with that??

I don't see the need for more

I don't see the need for more studies. Anyone who still believes GMOs are good for you is either working for Monsanto or profiting from their use in other ways. We need to act on the studies we already have. Like climate change, the evidence is staring us in the face.

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