everyone's harvest

Transforming our food system, one sustainable blog at a time

Why You Should Vote YES on Prop 37 in November September 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyonesharvest @ 7:36 pm

 

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FEATURED ARTICLE: YES on Prop 37

 

DISCLAIMER: the following content does not necessarily represent the beliefs, values and opinions of Everyone’s

Harvest as a whole. These blog posts are written by individuals associated with this organization and are their

personal views of food and our food systems. The sole purpose and mission of Everyone’s Harvest remains the same:

to create vibrant, healthy communities and equitable food webs.” 

 

Blog by Chiara Cabiglio, Everyone’s Harvest Intern

 

The first time I heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was in one of my Environmental Studies courses

in college. I learned about genetically modified (GM) salmon, such as AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon, which

“contains a gene from the chinook salmon, a larger cousin that lives in cold northern waters. That gene activates a

growth hormone, with obvious commercial benefits for farmers who want to get their fish to market weight quickly.”

 

And I was horrified to learn about the potential health and environmental catastrophes that could very well unfold

should the genetically engineered salmon get loose and escape into the wild: “The Food and Drug Administration

convened a panel of experts last fall to review the genetically modified (GM) salmon, and they were mostly satisfied

with AquaBounty’s proposals. Many environmental groups, however, haven’t been so happy with what they’ve

come to term the Frankenfish — which would be the first GM animal to hit the market if approved. (A spokesperson

for the FDA said that the agency was still reviewing the AquAdvantage salmon, and that there was no timetable for

a decision.) “You can have unknown outcomes from genetically modifying a species,” says Zach Corrigan, the fish-

program director for Food & Water Watch, an NGO opposed to GM technology. “We don’t think they’ve looked

carefully enough at those possible effects.”’

 

“Skeptics worry the GM salmon might provoke an allergic reaction in some consumers, but the real fear has more to

do with what kind of damage the modified fish might do if it escaped into the wild. Conventional farmed salmon

frequently break free of the sea nets they’re raised in, and they can mix with wild populations of fish. That’s not

good for their wild cousins: a farmed fish, like a domesticated pig, is bred for a life in captivity, not in the open

oceans, where it needs a different suite of survival traits. Not only can escaped farmed fish spread disease —

farmed salmon, for instance, can transmit the deadly parasite sea lice to wild fish — they can actually degrade the

gene pool through interbreeding. So it’s not hard to see why many environmentalists worry about the havoc a GM

salmon might do if it got loose and started mating. Just watch Jurassic Park.”

 

The bottom line is, there is nothing sustainable – whether it be health wise, economically or environmentally – about

genetically engineered foods. GM foods have huge carbon footprints because they require a massive amount of

petroleum-based and chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in their production. There is nothing

sustainable, environmentally friendly or natural about tampering with nature and inserting one fish gene into another

fish so that the second fish may grow bigger in a shorter amount of time. All of us ultimately are going to pay the

costs – health costs, environmental costs, and human rights costs, etc. – of GM foods at the other end when the

genetically engineered food makes us sick, wrecks havoc upon the natural environment, and negatively impacts the

livelihood of other human beings.

 

“All Proposition 37 does is require clear labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically modified. We already

have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. This measure

simply adds information telling us if food is produced using genetic engineering, which is when food is modified in a

laboratory by adding DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria or viruses.” So why should you vote yes on Prop 37?

Because we have the right to know what’s in our food. You should vote yes on Prop 37 because:

 

1) We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But Don’t Know It

2) The Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Are Unclear

3) Much of the World Already Requires Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

4) It is A Simple Proposition for California in 2012

5) It would be Just Like Nutrition Facts

6) There would be No Cost to Consumers or Food Producers

 

Additionally, here are just some reasons why GMOs are bad for you, the environment, our fellow human beings as

well as future generations:

 

1) Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity

2) Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back

3) GMOs are not the answer for global food security

4) Genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot

5) Big biotech firms have very sketchy track records

6) GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides

 

The good news is, already 1,879 businesses and professional supporters have endorsed YES on Prop 37. These

include consumer rights organizations, public health organizations, food safety organizations, food product

manufacturers, food retailers, farmers’ markets and co-ops, seed suppliers, farm preservation and organic farming

organizations, farms, medical groups/associations/organizations, natural health, fishing and ocean preservation

organizations, progressive and social justice organizations, unions/labor, environmental organizations, women/moms

groups, media/blogs, dietary advocacy groups, faith-based and spiritual communities, chefs, celebrities, medical

and health professionals, government and political parties, elected officials and other political allies, educators and

many, many others who have publicly come out and said YES on Prop 37.

 

Please join these businesses, professional supporters and the more than one million Californians who support this

campaign. There are countless actions you can take right now in order to help us win the vote in November

to label GMOs! Boycott these companies that oppose GMO labeling and are pouring millions of dollars into fighting

against this initiative (undoubtedly because their own products are genetically modified). Explore the YES on Prop 37

– California Right to Know Campaign website and Like its Facebook Page! Watch and share the Campaign’s Ad. Sign up as

a SupporterVolunteerDonateParticipate! Spread the word and tell your family and friends to use their voice for good and

vote YES on Prop 37. Together, we shall overcome and win the right to know what is in our food!

 

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