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  • WHO WE ARE-Earlier this month, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street. Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I…
  • The Hunting Ground: Human Truths of Campus Rape

    Susan Rose
    CALIFORNIA MOVES AGAINST RAPE-On May 13, California moved aggressively against rape on campuses, issuing a directive to all state colleges to “notify authorities when a sexual assault is reported.” Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.C. president Janet Napolitano jointly issued a set of guidelines to encourage collaboration between campuses and…
  • Santa Barbara Spill Underscores Why We Can’t Allow Arctic Oil Drilling

    Ryan Schleeter
    PLANET WATCH-Last week, a major oil spill in Santa Barbara County made headlines after a ruptured pipeline dumped as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil on the California coastline. The spill stretches across roughly nine miles of state beach with tens of thousands of gallons entering marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean. The spill took…
  • How Will David Ryu Honor His Campaign Pledges?

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In a race that focused on local issues, outsider David Ryu (photo) outpolled City Hall insider Carolyn Ramsay by almost 10 points (54.8% to 45.2%), representing a margin of over 2,300 votes. Yet, since less than 16% of Council District 4’s 153,000 registered voters bothered to vote, Ryu was supported by less than 9% of those eligible…
  • $15 an Hour: If This Ain't Socialism, Then What SHOULD We Call It?

    Ken Alpern
    CONSIDER THIS-Funny how when you accuse, or even suggest, to a liberal (or is it "progressive"? or is it "reformist"?) that he/she is socialist, they get all bent out of shape. One reason that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is so respected is that he says it like it is--he's a sincere socialist who means what he says and says what he means. One…
  • California Dreaming: Booms to Busts, the Optimists are Still Searching for the Gold

    James Preston Allen
    AT LENGTH-At a meeting I attended recently with the management of the Port of Los Angeles, a civic leader voiced his enduring optimism for a bright and successful future. I gave the unsolicited reply, “an ounce of skepticism is worth a pound of optimism.” Others at the meeting said aghast, “Oh, no. How would anything ever get accomplished?”…
  • LA’s Homeless: Not a lost Cause

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-I was both surprised and rather pleased about the reaction to my recent article. Apparently, many people in Los Angeles are realizing that the Homelessness isn’t just City Hall’s challenge but affects all of our neighborhoods. Even more important, it doesn’t just affect us economically but impacts our sense of humanity and fair play. Yes,…
  • Senate Race: Choosing Kamala or Loretta Comes Down to North vs. South … California

    Joe Mathews
    CONNECTING CALIFORNIA-Are you a Kamala or a Loretta? Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez—the two leading candidates for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat next year—confront Californians with a choice. But it’s not a choice about competing policies or political visions. Californians don’t have political arguments about…
  • From Tragedy, Healing

    Mike Newhouse
    GUEST WORDS-In the days after Brendon Glenn was killed, in the heart of Venice, I was starkly reminded of one of our community's biggest challenges. But, my perspective may surprise you. What first came to mind was not how we police. It was not about racism or homelessness. It was not about mental illness, or the insidious nature of drug or…

 

  • Can Marijuana Really Kill Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    Marijuana enthusiasts have been speculating for years that pot can actually combat certain types of cancer, but it wasn’t until recently that…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…




Alert! World’s 10 most dangerous animals

Smashing good job. World’s leaders beating each other up

Trevor Noah warming up for takeover of the Daily Show

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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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