White Paper Proposal #2- Proposition 37 and GMO labeling


To continue my research for my white paper I came to realize I may have to broaden my topic. While my first proposal focused very specifically on the societal benefits of organic/sustainable food sources, I have come to terms with the fact that I may need to branch out. While staying in conjunction with that original topic I believe it makes sense to slowly expand to the overarching issues of food production in our nation (which undoubtedly affects the entire world). For this week’s proposal I will focus on the government involvement with Proposition 37- a simple “right to know” initiative that requires food that is genetically engineered or contains genetically modified organisms to be labeled.

As one can imagine, this has met MAJOR criticism from big powerhouse food producers such as Monsanto, Coca-Cola, and Kraft. They claim that implementation of this type of labeling process would be extremely complex and would result in major lawsuits for those who did not comply, higher grocery bills, and more state bureaucracy costs. I view this as an eerily similar situation to the battles fought by tobacco companies to keep warning labels off of their products. Of course the big production companies want to avoid this labeling regulation; it will obviously deter potential customers from their products.

And OH BOY are these production companies going great lengths to fight this proposition. Monsanto contributed $18.1 million dollars in donations during the 2012 campaigning period to vote No against proposition 37. Doesn’t it seem a little excessive? Clearly these organizations have a lot at stake, but don’t we as consumers have our health on the line as well? I believe that we have a right to know what exactly is going into our food, and generous donations to our political leaders should not outweigh the potential health risks United States citizens face.

The Department of Agriculture reported that in 2012,, 88 percent of corn, 93 percent of soy beans, and 94 percent of cotton varieties grown in the United States were genetically engineered. Unfortunately for me and my like minded peers, Proposition 37 was not passed in California yesterday (although I’m sure it would have been overshadowed by another law surrounding “plants” in Colorado regardless). However, this is not the end of the road for Proposition 37 and the battle against GMO food production, as seen here:

 “The idea is that people are speaking out, and whether we win or lose, GMO labeling advocates are working on a post-election campaign that is going to launch on Nov. 7: if corporations won’t label GMO foods, we the people will.” – Nutiva CEO John Roulac

So buckle up everyone. The fast paced and exciting world of locally grown, organic, sustainable, healthy food production is coming to your doorstep!! (Yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that sounded).

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