|March Against Monsanto in Portland Oregon in May. Image: demotix.com|
After Prop 37's narrow defeat back in 2012 in California largely due to heavy negative ad campaigns funded by Monsanto and Co. and Washington State's close no vote on I 522 after a similar cast of characters used millions in ad spending to defeat the bill, the battle for genetically modified food labeling has now descended upon Oregon.
Activists face a long road ahead of them though, needing to get 87,213 valid signatures by the end of June in order to get the measure on the 2014 Ballot. GMO Free Oregon has taken up the task of spearheading the petitioning and will need all the help they can get. You can support them here: www.gmofreeoregon.org. The March Against Monsanto is leading the national GMO awareness campaign, you can support them here: www.march-against-monsanto.com
FoodDemocracyNow.org has set up a simple way to send an email to Oregon's government to encourage the state to label GMOs, you can do that here.
GM food labeling is important because an overwhelming majority of consumers want to know what's in their food. A recent study showed that babies, still in the womb, are already testing positive for pesticides in their bodies that come from GMO food. There's no telling the effects that these foods are having on us over the long haul, but recent research has shown a vast amount of illnesses, diseases and disorders are likely caused by GMO foods and the extra pesticides used in their production.
Labeling also helps local farmers and organic food companies as more an more consumers become aware of the dangers of the chemicals on their dinner tables. Companies with products labelled non-GMO have seen an explosion of sales once they began using the non-GMO Project's certified label, projected to account for roughly 30% of all foods sold by 2017. According to mnn.com:
"the sales of food with the Non-GMO Project Verified label have risen 21 percent in natural supermarkets over the past twelve weeks (2012). The sales of organic foods have risen 17 percent during the same time period."The real question is: will the fight for food labeling finally be won by activists in Oregon, or will big money from Monsanto and the other food giants crush the opposition again? Only time will tell.
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