After the shooting down of Proposition 37 in California, thanks to the massive advertizing blitz launched by Big Food and the biotech industry, people are fired up across the country to maintain the momentum for GMO labeling. The prospect of approvals for 'Agent Orange' type GM crops, GM salmon and possibly even GM apples, is only adding to the momentum.
Below is news from New Mexico. Things are also hotting up in Washington state. After the state legislature failed to advance a mandatory GMO labeling bill, a grassroots effort has taken off that aims to force the Washington legislature to reconsider the bill or else put the issue before voters in November 2013.
The People's Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (I-522) initiative must get over 250,000 signatures before the end of December, but the goal is to turn in at least 320,000 signatures to ensure enough valid signatures, so if you live in Washington state (or know someone who does), please get signing! Find information on where you can sign I-522 to put GMO Labeling on the ballot in Washington: http://www.labelitwa.org/where_to_sign_i_522
Learn more about I-522 by visiting the Label It Washington website:
See also: Organizers confident Washington state non-GMO initiative will hit signature goal
Other states across the country have launched their own state initiatives. And there's also a campaign at the federal level: http://justlabelit.org/
New Mexico next in line to try for GMO labeling
Digital Journal, December 22 2012
Santa Fe - While California's Proposition 37 ballot initiative to label GMO products seems to have failed, a State Senator in New Mexico is next to take the baton in the fight for labeling of genetically modified food products.
As was seen with Proposition 37, with Monsanto and Big Pesticide's excessively deep pockets used to fight the ballot initiative, New Mexico might have a fight on their hands too.
However, State Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) has proposed an amendment that, while it won’t be brought into debate until next year, he hopes will be approved and will ensure that NM consumers know exactly what is in their food.
If Sen. Wirth’s amendment is approved, it will make it mandatory for genetically engineered food and items containing genetically modified, or genetically engineered (GE), products to be adequately and clearly labeled.
Sen. Wirth said, “The premise of this amendment is simple – New Mexicans deserve the right to know what’s in the food they are eating and feeding to their families.”
“Labeling GE foods and feed will empower consumers with basic information to help them decide for themselves the types of food they want to buy.”
Sen. Wirth is already making headway in terms of getting people to talk about his plan. Food & Water Watch's New Mexico Organizer, Eleanor Bravo says of his amendment, “Giving foods with GE ingredients a label will only improve and expand independent health and scientific knowledge about genetic engineering.”
“We need the research of genetic engineering to be expanded beyond the companies who own the seeds and stand to profit and labeling will allow this to happen,” she added.
Sen. Wirth's proposal would state that companies that do not properly label GMO items will be subject to penalties under current rules pertaining to “mis-branding.”
It will be a hard fight, as just a few weeks ago, Proposition 37 lost by a margin of 53 to 47 in favor of the No on Prop 37 campaign. People involved in the Yes on Prop 37 campaign feel that the last-minute defeat was caused by the multi-million dollar campaign launched by Monsanto, other pesticide companies, and junk food companies against labeling of GMOs.
There is still a certain amount of concern over the results of the election, due to discrepancies in tallies shown on the California Secretary of State's website, but no real outcome has come of this.
Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute said in a statement last month that “Genetically engineered foods found on market shelves have most commonly been altered in a lab to either be resistant to being sprayed by large amounts of toxic herbicides, or to produce, internally, their own insecticide.”
“Corporations that produce both the genetically engineered crops and their designer pesticides, in concert with the multi-billion-dollar food manufacturers that use these ingredients, fought this measure tooth and nail, throwing $46 million at the effort that would have required food manufacturers to include informational labeling on GMO content on their packaging.”
Proposition 37 - possible that election fraud made it fail
Cheerios' Facebook page hijacked by anti-GMO protesters
Pepsico's 'Naked Juice' to feel the pain after boycotting Prop 37
Vandana Shiva interviewed on HARDtalk by the BBC about GMOs (video)