Regarding The Palo Alto Weekly's recommendation to vote no on Prop 37,10/19/12,I submit the following:
PA Weekly's statement that "genetic engineering has been used for some
fifteen years to make plants grow bigger, stronger, faster and resist
spoilage or insect damage" is inaccurate. Genetically engineered (GE)
products, known also as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were
foisted on the public in the early 1990's. GE crops are designed to
express two traits: resistance to the herbicide,glyphosate,sold as Roundup, and production of a bacterial toxin within the plant itself.
The Weekly says "40% of food products contain some GE ingredients." Actually, the USDA estimates that as much as 80% of retail food contains GMOs.
The Weekly's claims that "no studies have found any health impacts, [but] the industry is too young to know with certainty..." reveals a lack of currency and also a somewhat skewed perspective on this topic. Many scientists—including those at the
FDA—MD's and healthcare experts have expressed concerns about the
safety of GMOs.
Food labeling is vitally important to consumers, with polls showing consistently that 90% of consumers are in favor of GMO-labeling. Over 60 countries label or even ban GMOs. So, why doesn't the U.S.?
Is it because certain biotech, chemical and junk food giants exert
enormous influence over the USDA, FDA and elected officials?
Interestingly, lawyer and current Director of Food Safety at the FDA,
Michael Taylor,was formerly Monsanto's VP of public policy.
Monsanto produces 90% of the world's GE seed and also manufactures Roundup, the world's biggest selling herbicide.
Taylor's FDA guidelines require no GMO safety testing. Because Monsanto's patent rights on GE seed,independent testing of GMO's is tightly restricted.
I don't want to ruin anyone's morning coffee or afternoon tea with elaborately drawn out details of conspiracy theories. Not at all.
I want to end my message on an upbeat note of hope.
Prop 37, would put a label on GMOs. That's it.
This is done in the European Union countries, Japan, Brazil, Australia, even China. None of these countries have seen any significant food price increases since labeling was implemented.
Prop 37 was written to comply with existing state health regulations.
It does not create any new regulatory department.
It's exemptions are based on common sense.
Over two thousand real California farms and food producers have endorsed Prop 37.
Check out carighttoknow.org and be informed.
Thanks for reading this message, and oh yeah,
Vote Yes On Prop 37
Pete Whelan Alma Street