Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chico's Role in the Battle to Label GMO's.

Went down to Chico today to catch part of the March Against Monsanto. In the election of 2012, California had a ballot measure to label GMO's on packaging (Prop 37). The woman who wrote the law and started the Initiative, Pamm Larry, is in the photo above. She is the farthest person on the left, looking sideways. Pamm did a hell of a job--essentially starting the whole movement to label GMO foods single handedly. The ballot measure lost very narrowly. It was outspent by Thirty Million dollars. Every major newspaper in California (and I mean EVERY newspaper in California) came out AGAINST the ballot initiative. Pamm took on the likes of Monsanto, Coca Cola, General Mills--the list of companies that put millions of dollars into the fight against the Initiative is astounding. Like I said, the Initiative lost narrowly.

Despite losing, the fight was picked up in many other states. Washington State has a ballot initiative coming up in November. After California's Prop 37 lost, the state legislatures of Maine and Connecticut passed GMO labeling laws. Twenty six States have legislation pending on labeling GMO's.

This is a law that is going to happen. The movement is comprised of mostly women. Women who are appalled that twenty years ago, genetic changes were made to seeds and were released untested into the American food system. The evidence seems murky regarding the safety of these foods. Yet there are a couple of reasons to object, despite the insufficient knowledge regarding the food safety. First off, it puts our whole seed industry into just a couple of company's hands. A monopoly for Monsanto. Secondly, it is never a good idea to splice genes from different organisms into a "Genetically Modified Organism".  This does not happen in nature and, philosophically, this is just something that should not be done. It is a gut reaction that we are playing with the stuff of life.

Personally, I think the evidence is there to make a case against GMO grains. First off, just take a look at the explosion of chronic disease that has occurred since they were put on the market in the late 80's. I'm sure we will be gathering more and better data confirming what, at this point, is just circumstantial evidence with a few promising studies.


This March wasn't as big as the one a few months ago. But the last one I attended was in Sacramento. However, when you attend these gatherings, it really is a movement that is led by women. There must be something maternal about genetics and food. Women know instinctually, that you just don't mess with the genetic make up of an organism. And because this movement is led by women, it will succeed. I'd make a bet that every state will have labeling laws by 2016. And after that, there will come the push to eliminate GMO's to our diets. That is what the big companies are worried about. And that is what is going to happen. Of this, I am fairly certain.


  1. I had a non-debate with her last night! No science to back up her thought. It scared me. This vagina hopes other women will learn more about plant breeding before they support her non-science.

  2. Yes, I've noticed you are a GMO booster. A point of disagreement between us. And you have good company in your view in Mark Lynas who wrote the best book on Global Warming (Six Degrees) that I've read, has come out in favor of GMO's. I would agree with you that the non GMO side doesn't have the science in their favor yet. I'm opposed to it on a more philosophical basis and also the increasing lack of diversity in our monoculture. Such lack of diversity is dangerous and will, and I mean will, lead to some lean times at some point very soon.

  3. Actually, I choose not to talk about the science as it's like talking about religion. I don't trust your bought nonscience, beefjar. You don't trust unbought mine. So like the Muslims and Jews, it's pointless to me to talk to the likes of you. But know this- I have 1100 peer reviewed studies showing the harm of GMOs- to the environment, the soil, animals, insects and us. Interesting that you refer to yourself as a vagina, beefjar. I am glad I prefer to think of myself with a soul, heart and mind along with a vagina. I am whole and don't live in a reductionist world, which most proGMO advocates do. -Pamm