If GMOs Are So Good, Why Not be Proud?

Tuesday Aug 21 | BY |
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gabby douglas
We’re proud of Gabby, but why not GMO?

I’ve been thinking and writing about California Proposition 37 a lot in the last few weeks…

This proposition — if California votes yes — will require genetically modified foods to be labeled by the food companies that produce them.

For me, this would be a huge victory for the state as well as the rest of the U.S.

I want to know what is in my food and this labeling legislation would provide anyone who cares about what they eat with the right to know what they put in their mouths.

If California requires labeling GMO foods, then this sets precedence for other states to follow suit. What’s even better, is that if companies need to label products for California, they’ll likely just change their packaging for most — if not all — of their distribution.

(Here are some articles I’ve written that you can go back and access in case you missed them. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here.)

So, of course, we’re voting “yes” and encouraging everyone else to do the same.

Know your farmer, know your food, know what you put in your mouth.

But now, as the campaign to get the word out about the Proposition has picked up some steam, the opposition has started to put up some serious resistance. Food and biotech companies have put up millions of dollars to attempt to convince California consumers of three things — (1) that the proposition is poorly written, (2) that consumers will have to pay for the increase in packaging costs and (3) that GMO foods are no different than non-GMO food.

This money is a fraction of what those who support Proposition 37 have been able to gather. It’s my hope that our side will prevail, but I can’t say I’m confident it will be a landslide.

Is Proposition 37 poorly written?

I’m not a lawmaker, so I don’t know much about how the proposition is drafted. I’ve read it and I’m confident it was written by competent people. So, on this point I’m sure the food industry leaders are looking for any way to discredit the campaign — and in particular single out the majority of Californians who have no idea what they’d be reading if they did get a copy of it.

Will it really cost more?

In terms of packaging costs, Kellogg Company just pasted Olympian Gabby Douglas all over their Corn Flakes boxes — all with no increase in price to the consumer. So to me, and maybe to you too, it seems like these companies are saying that they’re willing to punish consumers by increasing prices of their product if they have to be truthful about what is in their products.

Gabby Douglas, no fees passed on to the consumer.

Being truthful? Extra cost to the consumer.

This is a double standard that must be mentioned in any discussion about GMO labeling. It just isn’t fair and is the equivalent of school yard bullying — “I’ll give you your shoe back, if you give me your lunch money” kind of stuff.

On a personal note of comparison, we change labels all the time. For us, it costs about $35-50 an hour for a designer and nothing extra to reprint the materials, since we wait until we need more.

Total: $35-50 per label.

I understand, food companies are much more bulky and heavier to lift, but since the Proposition allows for a grace period to change their labels, I find it really hard to swallow that there will be dozens of millions of dollars in extra cash spent changing the boxes or labels to be compliant. I’m sure they print new boxes/labels/packages regularly and there will be minimal design costs outside of the amount of money that they normally spend to print this new packaging on their previously determined design and promotional schedule.

Here’s a suggestion: Do the label adjustments during the holidays when many companies put a holiday spin on their products. Shiny new packaging, shiny new GMO label.

But the real question is…

Now, as for point number three, I’ve had a question knocking around in my head for the last few days that I would love to ask those higher ups in the food industry:

If GMOs are so good, why not be proud?

The food industry has been really good at promoting winning nutrients and ingredients. (Any industry is, in fact.)

Fiber, antioxidants, omega 3s — if their products contain one or many of them, their marketing department is more than willing to share. They may even spend money to change the label (and not charge the consumer — or threaten to.)

So, in this case, why not be proud? Particularly their your stance is that GMOs are no different than regular food — and could possibly save the world (one of their claims.)

Why not superimpose “Made with Real GMO Sweet Corn” on the front of Ms. Douglas’ gold medal? It would be non-American not to boast about the achievements of the biotech industry.

If GMOs allegedly help reduce the use of pesticides, claim that on the front of every Nestle chocolate bar — “Made with GMO Soy: You’re Helping Us Use Less Pesticides.”

(Nestle is a supporter of the campaign against Proposition 37.)

Why not proclaim that “by purchasing this GMO-rich product you support feeding hungry people across the globe.” (Read more here. And the rebuttal here.)

Of course, I’m not asking for these things to seriously happen, but I am asking for reasons why no one is being effervescently boastful.

It’s an important question to ask. So why so mum?

I’m not exactly sure, but from an industry that shouts from the rooftops if their product contains even a token amount of resveratrol or lycopene, you have to be suspicious of the silence.

Chances are, it’s because the industry knows no one can really stomach the idea that their corn or soy latte may at one point have been producing a pesticide — by itself. Or maybe they don’t want to shine a light on a topic many people know nothing about and open up a public debate — featuring the good, bad and ugly.

I’m sure it’s a little bit of both — and more — but what I do know is that human (or corporate nature) is similar across the board.

When I was younger and I’d get an A on my report card, I’d proudly come running home to Mom. But when I got a D, I’d hide it in my book bag hoping that she’d never remember that it existed.

When people are proud they boast, when they’re not they don’t.

You have to wonder why — and what — the food and biotech companies are holding back.

Your question of the day: Do you think there’s something the food and biotech companies are trying to hide?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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