OMG…GMO! TMI? WTF!?

Adair Seldon is an award-winning writer who has parlayed two of her greatest pastimes, overthinking and overeating, into the blog, Lentil Breakdown. An advocate for fair food, she would rather pay the small farmer than Big Pharma. She thinks growth hormones were meant for Arnold Schwarzenegger – not livestock. And please don’t offer her a bacon cupcake. Whether praising a pea or appraising the planet, this culinary inquisitor brings it all to the table. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Yes on California Prop 37!

I was standing with my clipboard at the farmers market when she walked by.

“Would you like to sign an initiative to get labeling for genetically modified food on the California ballot in November?” I said.

“No,” she said firmly.

“Don’t you want to know what’s in your food?” I asked.

“We don’t need to know everything.”

I paused, in holy crap mode.

“But what if I want to know?” I said.

“They tell us too much already,” she announced.

I could see her reasoning-impaired mind was made up, and like they told us in signature-gathering training, when someone is not going to budge, just move on. So like a good volunteer, I let her go.

We don’t need to know everything? Sheesh, lady, since when is a measly sentence fragment that says either “Genetically engineered” or “May be partially produced with genetic engineering” everything? It’s a few syllables and a splash of ink. They have to print the labels anyway. It’s not like I’m asking these food companies to give up their precious high-fructose corn syrup or anything. What about the labeling of tree nuts? People who go into anaphylactic shock from peanuts don’t need to know everything?

Lady, do you even know what a GMO is? A Genetically Modified Organism is when a crop’s DNA is artificially manipulated by inserting genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria into it so it can withstand large doses of pesticides and herbicides. These gene sequences don’t occur in nature, and GMO crops have never been proven safe to eat.  Did you know that GMO corn is engineered to produce its own pesticide—so if a bug bites it, its stomach will explode and die? Lady, if you want to eat bug-busting bacteria bathed in toxins, knock yourself out. But let me pick my own poison.

Lady, did you know that all these pesticides are polluting our food, water and air, and the FDA has never even done any long-term safety testing on these experimental crops? Well, the very first peer-reviewed, long-term animal study just came out linking GMO corn to mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious illnesses. Monsanto, the largest maker of GMO seeds and pesticides, also made Agent Orange, DDT—and for years, covered up the dangers of PCBs—another one of their greatest hits. So why should we entrust our health and planet to these poison profiteers who are raking in billions? How can we track the health effects of all the GMO soy, corn and canola we’re eating if we don’t know we’re eating it? Don’t you think they owe it to us guinea pigs to tell us we’re being used as subjects? Hello? Am I still in America or did I accidentally stray into Corruptistan?

Lady, if you can see Russia from your house like some people, squint real hard and you’ll see that they’ve got GMO labeling on their food. China too. In fact, nearly 50 countries demand it. American companies like Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and Kellogg are required to label genetically engineered food in all of those countries, but nope, not here in the good ole U.S. of A. What are they trying to hide? Are they banking on all of us being just like you? Well guess what, lady. It turns out about 90% of us aren’t like you. We’re nothing like you. We want to know what’s in our food!

Yes, lady, the alarm has sounded, and it’s called Prop 37 – the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. Is it any surprise that those same American corporations have poured millions of dollars into defeating it? But that won’t stop us because this is about ordinary Americans standing up to the biotech and pesticide industry and asserting our basic rights as citizens and consumers. And since the FDA doesn’t require GMO labeling, it’s time for someone else to come along and get the job done this November. Because whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Tea Partier, Green or Whig, we have a right to know what’s in our food. So thanks, FDA and USDA, but California can take it from here.

Lady, it was nice chatting at you. And don’t forget to vote Yes on Prop 37!

Yes on Prop 37

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33 Comments on "OMG…GMO! TMI? WTF!?"

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Angela
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t live in California, (though I once did), but I have promoted Yes on 37 on my blog. California is the theoretical “older sibling” in this issue — it is stretching the boundaries which should enable all the other states to more easily put this type of legislation in place.

I wanted to point out that in Washington State, we have a similar ballot measure this year called Initiative-522. I-522 aims to achieve many of the same standards (if not better) than what is proposed in California. This measure is not really getting much press, even in Washington State, but it is important for folks to know about!

Thanks for your guest post!

Debbe
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Debbe
3 years 6 months ago

Thanks, Angela, for the WA state info on I522. I’ve not heard a word about it, other than from you. I will look for that when I vote.

Sandy
Guest
Sandy
3 years 6 months ago

Well, if nobody’s heard anything about it, that means AgBiz isn’t overspending to defeat it . . . so maybe, just maybe, it stands a chance of passing under the radar, even if 37 doesn’t.

* keeping fingers crossed for you *

Because, *sigh*, I’m in Texas and can’t vote on either one.

Chris
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Chris
3 years 6 months ago
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to vote yes on this Prop. However, this is not the bill to vote yes on. It is extremely self-serving to the person who authored it, it is poorly written and I don’t think it goes far enough. I want to know if the farmer was using GMO seeds, because it is mostly like he/she was (and probably doesn’t know it). If you watched “The Future of Food”, you will know that in order to “introduce new traits” (aka geneteically modify) to a seed you need to penetrate the cell wall and this is done via a virus and not a benign virus either. So you see, it isn’t enough to eat organically or grow organically, you must plant organically as well. Okay, I’m off the soap box for today. I apologize if this has offended anyone. It was/is meant to inform not… Read more »
Lentil Breakdown
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Chris, from what I know about the writing of the bill, it went through sundry lawyers and revisions and had to be somewhat of a compromise. If it were what we all wanted, it would have been too extreme to pass. While I agree, it’s not the perfect piece of legislation, it’s a first step and can be refined later. It’s better to pass this one now. There’s too much at stake and no time to lose!

sunny
Guest
sunny
3 years 6 months ago
Ive wondered a lot about this bio eng of our food. I took a class waaaay back in college about the ethics of engeenering and genetics, and while I could see in some cases things could go very wrong, some also made sense. A farmer came in and discribed how his tomatoes (if geneticly improved) could be stacked beautifully at the grocery store, last longer and be consistant in size and color. I had no idea how bad of an idea that was. It has been years since I have seen a good tomatoe come from a large chain grocery store. They are tasteless, colorless poor excuse for the lovely fruit they once were. Oh if I had only known. It is no wonder it is hard for us to “sell” our children on the health and tastes of good fruits and vegtables when good ones are so much harder… Read more »
Cathy Elton
Member
3 years 6 months ago

Ha, I knew from the title exactly who wrote this post! Great job Adair. Insightful and funny at once.

Going Veggie
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Adair, This is one of the most informative posts I’ve read in months and I STILL laughed through it… well, except when I was crying! Success to you and Prop 37 and I’ll be watching from Atlanta because I can’t vote in California. ~Veggie Val

Jamie
Guest
Jamie
3 years 6 months ago

Love it! Great post! I wish Arizona would get their stuff together. I wonder if we are evn close!!??

Greg Henry
Member
3 years 6 months ago

This sooooooo Adair. And it’s perfect! GREG

Midge
Guest
Midge
3 years 6 months ago

Adair, thanks so much for this wonderful piece. I was driving back to work one day with two of my co-workers after meeting with a client when an ad in support of Prop 37 came on the radio. It was interesting (and irksome really) that they both commented how much food prices will increase if it passes. Really? That’s just so short-sighted! I guess they don’t care about what they’re eating.

If this passes, one of two things will happen – food companies will have to slap on the GMO label, or they will have to reformulate their products. Although probably not perfectly written, voting yes will send a powerful message to Big Food that enough is enough.

Heather
Guest
Heather
3 years 6 months ago

As someone who’s intestinal tract gets blown up everytime I eat canola related foodstuffs I appreciate all the help and support from healthy people I can get. Thank you for writing this. It is much appreciated, since not everyone is aware of the way they are hurting themselves and their families.

THANK YOU!

Kylie K
Guest
Kylie K
3 years 6 months ago

what a great article!

Amy
Guest
Amy
3 years 6 months ago

This is some good writing! And very helpful. For me, one look at who’s contributing to the No on 37 campaign vs the Yes group and it’s easy decision: http://www.kcet.org/news/ballotbrief/elections2012/propositions/prop-37-funding-genetically-engineered-food.html

Adair @ Lentil Breakdown
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Thanks for all the kind words and great feedback, everyone!

Sandy
Guest
Sandy
3 years 6 months ago

“They tell us too much already”?
So, um . . . don’t read the labels.

Obvously I spend too much time hanging out with allergic people.

This may be the only post I have ever read, in the 5 or 6 years since I discovered blogs, in which I agree the acronym “WTF” is fully justified, and probably irreplaceable.

Sarah
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I rarely sign petitions (I despise the whole hiring of people to get signatures, don’t get me started!) but I willingly signed the one for Wa state this summer. PCC stores are helping get the word out! If you shop at one, take a look!!

Ashley
Guest
Ashley
3 years 6 months ago

Best blog entry title ever.

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