We love people who take action…
People who stand up for something — people who think more about the greater good than themselves.
There are plenty of people in the health space who are in this business to make a difference and today, we wanted to recognize two of them.
Since we were pretty active in our coverage of Proposition 37 — the GMO labeling movement in California — our two Renegade Heroes had a lot to do with this campaign. In fact, this campaign, is the biggest thing that happened in natural health / organics / food rights in 2012.
The proposition didn’t pass (the margin was just around a 3% difference), but it did bring widespread awareness to the fight for GMO labeling. The state of Washington is now petitioning to put a GMO labeling law on their ballot now, which hopefully will have even greater success than the CA proposition.
But enough about winning and losing, let’s reward some people for their efforts…
Renegade Health Hero Runner Up: Dr. Joseph Mercola
Dr. Mercola has been recognized by us in the past at Renegade Health. Last year, he made the list because of his contribution — along with Dr. Gabriel Cousens — to the Great Health Debate. They both put their egos aside and spoke frankly about the pros and cons of vegan vs. a non-vegan diet. I gained tremendous respect for both of them while working on this project.
This year, Dr. Mercola gets the runner-up slot for another contribution, but this time it was monetary.
As you may know, to defeat Prop 37, the food and biotech companies raised over $40 million dollars. This was enough to engineer a media blitz of untruthful commercials that eventually tipped the scales.
Those for Proposition 37 only managed to raise a fraction of that, but Dr. Mercola’s company was the lead donor — providing $1.1 million.
Donating this amount of money demonstrates a lot of things about Dr. Mercola. First and foremost, it shows you where his heart is, which I think is all I need to say. He could have bought a boat, another home, or invested it at 5-8% (which would be $50,000-80,000 a year in return), but he didn’t. He chose to fight a battle where there was no guarantee of winning.
His contribution and efforts clearly could be put him at “Top Dog” status, but if you know anything more about the Prop 37 story, you’ll find that if it wasn’t for a grandma from Chico, Dr. Mercola wouldn’t have had anywhere to give that money…
(You can find more about Dr. Mercola here: http://www.mercola.com)
Renegade Health Hero Top Dog: Pamm Larry
On September 20, 2011, Pamm Larry, a grandmother from Chico, California woke up and knew that it was her job from then until November 6, 2012 to do everything she could to get an initiative on the California ballot to label genetically engineered foods.
Annmarie and I met Pamm at a GMO training with Jeffrey Smith in Marin Country, north of San Francisco.
She mentioned that she was trying to get a GMO labeling law on the ballot in California. At the time, we’d really wanted to get involved with something political to see the inner workings of it and actually make some real change in our backwards health and food policies.
I told Pamm that I wanted to organize a group in the East Bay for her to talk to and get the word out about what she was trying to do. She agreed.
Our little event had about 20 attendees and was the start of a grassroots action group in the Bay Area. Pamm went on to visit just about every city in the state rallying foodies like you and I to spread the word about this initiative. She was successful.
Pretty soon, this became a movement. There were more people. There was money donated. Then a petition. Then there were enough signatures gathered. Then it was on the ballot. Then more money. Commercials. Then election day.
It would have been an even better story if the Proposition passed, but I think you and I both know how much heart and soul it takes to get something amazing done and I want to make sure Pamm is recognized for this effort (as well as all the other donors, volunteers and organizations involved.)
Pamm essentially started the whole thing — she possibly changed the GMO discussion forever in the United States. So for that, her grassroots effort just ever-so-slightly outshine Dr. Mercola’s contribution — but you and I both know, neither would have happened without the other.
(You can find more about Pamm and Label GMOs here: http://www.labelgmos.org/)
There, of course, are dozens of others I could have included on this list — but since this Proposition was so historical and gigantic in scale, it definitely takes the raw almond flour cake in 2012.
Your Question of the Day: Who is your health hero of 2012?