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 IF IT'S BROKEN...FIX IT

Getting Serious about LA’s Sidewalk Repairs: A Five-Point ‘Let’s-Get-On-with-It’ Plan

Ken Alpern
FIXING LA-Last Tuesday night's City Council Board of Public Works and Budget Committees met and allowed a lot of good public input to a series of concerned and available Councilmembers and City officials. The attendance and input were both outstanding--I want to thank Councilmember Mike Bonin, in particular, for allowing the outreach and advice to…

Latino Politicians Putting Climate Change Ahead of Constituents

Joel Kotkin
POLITICS-Racial and economic inequality may be key issues facing America today, but the steps often pushed by progressives, including minority politicians, seem more likely to exacerbate these divisions than repair them. In a broad arc of policies affecting everything from housing to employment, the agenda being adopted serves to stunt upward…

Worlds Apart on Kathryn Steinle: When Political Opportunism Reigns Supreme

John Mirisch
MUSING WITH MIRISCH-The small Swedish Jewish Museum in Stockholm is tucked away on a side street. Discreet signage instructs would-be visitors to push a button which activates a camera, so they can be screened before they are granted entry. The museum's permanent exhibition fills one fairly small room. Most of the objects on display are Jewish…

Garcetti Passes, Wesson Fails

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Our Los Angeles Times has issued midterm letter grades for Controller Ron Galperin (B-) and City Attorney Mike Feuer (B+) and will be posting grades for City Council President Herb Wesson this Sunday and Mayor Eric Garcetti the following Sunday. Our City is facing many difficult issues, ranging from a lagging economy, relatively high…

What LA Really Needs: A Part-time City Council and a Part-time Mayor!

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-There are so many serious and pressing problems facing the City of Los Angeles and few if any real solutions are being proposed or implemented by our elected and appointed leaders at City Hall. I will start with the current city budget. Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had a $7.7 billion total budget in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.…

Why Don’t the City’s Women Managers Hire More Women?

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN-Perusing the web is a little like the soap operas of yesteryear. You get suckered in! One link leads to another link and then one is exposed to a barrage both facts and idiocy. The reason for this discussion was my attending a July Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) meeting with the Department of Water and Power. General…

Cleaning Up LA City Hall: ‘It’s What’s Legal That’s the Problem’

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-Everyone understands that developers own our city government. Sure, there are some officials here and there who are upright and independent, but recent history shows that the developers typically get their way in spite of public opposition. Whether it is a zoning change for an office tower or the required permits for a new mall,…

Not So Fast LA! Let’s Consider the Real Costs of Hosting the Olympics before We Jump In

Greg Nelson
SPORTS POLITICS-On Monday, Boston withdrew from its offer to be the nation’s bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. In January, Los Angeles finished second to Boston when the U.S. Olympic Committee made its decision. After Boston was selected to polish up its bid before submitting it to the International Olympic Committee for a final decision,…

Party Crashing for Political Access: Schwarzenegger and My Pantsuit

Charlotte Laws
CALIFORNIA ACCESS POLITICS-Party crashing—or gate-crashing, as it is sometimes called—is an art form that I stumbled upon as a teen. I taught myself how to finagle into any event, anywhere, anytime. It required being part private eye, part actress and part chutzpah machine. I had to think outside of the box, throw myself into the role, and whip my…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Prop 37: The Big Food Fight

OTHER WORDS - I'm going to sell you something to eat, but I won't tell you what's in it. Trust me, the ingredients are perfectly safe — but I absolutely oppose telling you what you're eating. I also won't let independent scientists study the ingredients. And I'm making a bundle of money by selling these unlabeled products. But trust me, they are safe. Go ahead, take a bite.

Does that sound ridiculous? Well, chances are, your pantry is full of products made by companies that are spending millions in California to avoid telling consumers what's in their food. On Election Day, Californians will vote on Proposition 37, a measure to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Coca Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg, and Nestle have each kicked in more than half a million bucks to defeat the measure. And even if Californians win the right to know what's in their food, the rest of the country may remain in the dark.

Genetically engineered crops are plants that have had genes from other species inserted into their DNA. Real examples include tomatoes endowed with genes from a fish or corn with genes from a type of bacteria. Most of the packaged foods we buy already contain these ingredients, because most of our corn and soy is genetically engineered. Check the shelves of your local supermarket and you'll have a hard time finding a product with no high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, or other corn- or soy-based ingredient. The food industry, which prohibits studies of these crops by independent scientists, assures us that they are safe.

If they were safe and beneficial as the industry claims, you'd think the biotech and food industry would want to brag about them. You'd expect to see boxes of granola bars labeled "Now with genetically engineered corn!" Perhaps you'd see commercials for breakfast cereals with cartoon tigers telling kids to ask their parents for Genetically Engineered Crunch. Instead, these newfangled crops quietly slipped onto supermarket shelves in the mid-1990s without any warning. Most Americans still have no inkling that our food has changed.

Now, when faced with the prospect of actually telling their customers what's on their plates, Big Food is fighting tooth and nail and spending millions to keep us in the dark. What on Earth are they hiding, if the products they sell us are as great as they say?

Think about it: Practically every major food manufacturer in America is afraid that you wouldn't buy their products if you knew what was in them. I don't care if a food's secret ingredient is antioxidants or antifreeze, carrots or carcinogens — consumers have a right to know what they're eating. Period. If a company knows that its customers would not buy its products if only they knew what was in them, then it has a duty to either change the ingredients or label the ingredients and let its customers decide.

We make food choices for any number of reasons: taste, price, ethics, religion, even fad diets or celebrity endorsements. When it comes to your right to know about what's in your food, it doesn't matter if you've got a good reason or a bad reason for making a particular choice. I think many fad diets are utterly insane, and even some members of my family shake their head at what I eat. And that's fine.

I have a right to know what's in my food. So do you. That will leave us free to choose what we eat.
Proposition 37 embraces the beauty of the free market: Let us know what's in our food and let us decide what to eat. If avoiding genetically engineered ingredients and produce means a food costs more, we can all decide whether that's worth it. But corporations should not be able to make that decision on our behalf without so much as letting us know.
(Columnist Jill Richardson is the founder of the blog La Vida Locavore, a member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory board, and the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It. OtherWords.org) Graphic credit: Peter Blanchard/Flickr
-cw

Tags: Jill Richardson, Prop 37, Genetically engineered, genetically modified, food labeling, eating, what we eat, what’s in what we eat








CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 82
Pub: Oct 12, 2012

 

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