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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who Doesn't Want You To Know What's In Your Food?

I woke up this morning to an article that a friend posted from the News Review in Sacramento.  The article begins:

"The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization dedicated to 'Promoting Economic Justice for Family Scale Farming,' as its motto puts it, recently came out with a detailed report that reveals which corporations have joined biotech giant Monsanto and industry leaders in fighting California’s Proposition 37, which would mandate labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, on food and other products.

The report reveals that Horizon, Silk, Kashi, Cascadian Farm, R.W. Knudsen Family and others are working to defeat the ballot measure."

Wait a minute.  The last time I checked, I saw a carton of Horizon milk with a smiling cow on the front with big letters reading ORGANIC.  Riddle me this: if your product is "organic", why would you have any issue with other companies labeling their products if they contain genetically modified organisms?  Ponder that while you read the next part of the article:

"As the report pointed out, 'mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food in California is viewed as a watershed event by many industry observers.' But companies are balking at the prospect of labeling GMOs, mostly because, as the report states, 'many companies will find it logistically or economically difficult to produce foods with labels identifying GE for California while producing a different product line of foods for the rest of the country.'

It will cut into their bottom line, their profits, in other words."

Finally, the truth comes out (not that we are surprised).  It's not about providing quality food for the country.  It's not about the responsibility to our citizens to keep them healthy.  And don't try to tell me it's "economically difficult" to produce food while telling people exactly what's in it.  It's about the Benjamins.  Always has been.  Always will be.

Let's look at some of the companies that are giving, in a BIG WAY, so that you can stay in the dark and their profits can continue to rise:

"Of the $23.5 million donated so far to fight Prop. 37, here is the breakdown, by brand/corporation, according to the Cornucopia Institute:

- Monsanto has doled out $4,208,000

- PepsiCo (parent company of Izze Beverage Company and Naked Juice Company), $1,716,300

- Coca-Cola (Honest Tea, Odwalla, Simply Orange Juice Company), $1,164,400

- ConAgra (Alexia, Lightlife), $1,076,300

- Kellogg Company (Kashi, MorningStar Farms, Gardenburger, Bear Naked), $632,500

- General Mills (Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Lärabar), $520,000

- Smucker’s (R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic), $387,000

- Dean Foods (Horizon, Silk), $253,000

Additionally, the Council for Biotechnology Information—which is made up of agricultural-pesticide giants Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience and BASF Plant Science—and the Grocery Manufacturers Association each have donated $375,000. And the Biotechnology Industry Organization has put in $250,000 toward trying to make sure Californians do not have access to accurate labeling of the food they buy, as far as GMO content goes."

Surprised to see some of those names such as Naked Juice, Odwalla, Kashi, MorningStar, Horizon, etc.?  I was.  Until I read the names next to them.  When you're in bed with Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, and General Mills, you're sleeping with some powerful people.  And those big time companies are not going to want to jeopardize the booming empires that they've built and ridden like golden chariots for too many years.  There is no way they will sacrifice millions upon millions of dollars for your piece of mind.  To quote one of my favorite movies:

Rocky Balboa - "You hang out with nice people, you get nice friends. You hang out with smart people, you get smart friends. You hang out with yo-yo people, you get yo-yo friends. It's simple mathematics."

Meanwhile, there are high-profile natural and organic brands who’ve given to Yes on 37, including:

"- Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps All One! soaps

- Nature’s Path Organic cereals

- Richvale-based Lundberg Family Farms rice

- Nutiva coconut and hemp oils

- Organic Valley milk

- Amy’s Kitchen frozen meals

- Eden Foods

- Baby’s Only Organic baby formula

- Straus Family Creamery dairy

- Uncle Matt’s Organic juices.

Collectively, along with Illinois physician Dr. Joseph Mercola, Organic Consumers Association and Michael Funk, CEO of United Natural Foods Inc., they have donated $2.6 million toward the support of Prop. 37. But it’s a far cry from the big money donated by big corporations such as Monsanto, PepsiCo and Kellogg."

It makes me livid that these multi-billion dollar corporations are trying to block a ballot mandating food companies to simply tell consumers when there is genetically modified material in their products.  I am sick of being lied to!  Don't we deserve to know what's in our food, thereby know what we are putting into our bodies and our children's bodies?  If, after knowing, you still choose to eat the food, that's your call - I'm not telling you what or what not to eat.  I just want people to know the truth so they can make an educated decision rather than eating what we are used to, what is easy, and/or what tastes good, regardless of the consequences.  Do your research and make a statement with your dollar.  If not for your health (translation - if you really don't care what is in your food, as long as it tastes good), then to let people know that you deserve to know the truth.

***On a side note, I want to acknowledge the loss of actor, Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile, The Whole Nine Yards, Armageddon, etc.).  He was a wonderful performer and, from what I understand, an even better person.  However, it makes me wonder.  He was also a VERY large man who had two massive heart attacks that killed him at the ripe age of 54.  It shouldn't have had to happen.  Too many large performers (John Candy, for example) stay large because that is how the industry knows them.  It's what helped build their careers. But it may have cost them their lives.  Just a thought.***