Dear Oregon,

Please vote yes on measure 92 on November 4th. Most people who follow my blog probably already know this, but if you have friends in Oregon, please make sure they know about this. Measure 92 would require all genetically modified organisms in grocery stores in Oregon to be labeled as GMO.  Oregon would be the only state to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws, aside from Vermont, which is having its labeling laws challenged in court due to greedy, big, agribusiness corporations. There is a huge propaganda campaign being produced by the “No on 92 Coalition” about this measure and GMO labeling in general in order to misinform voters and protect the profits of these unethical corporations.

The No on 92 Coalition is backed by Monsanto and JM Smuckers. They keep spreading lies about how GMOs are safe, but this isn’t even the point. It is about our right to know what we’re eating. It is a myth that we need GMOs. Big agribusiness corporations are just lazy and they don’t want to pull weeds or deal with pest problems in natural ways, so they believe the GMOs, pesticides, and insecticides they make are the best answers to pests, weeds, and everything else. But that’s not how good food is grown.

Some who support GMOs mention foods like modified golden rice, which has increased beta-carotene. But we don’t need to improve nature. It improves itself and we can help improve it just by coaxing it along and working with it to produce enough for ourselves and life on Earth. (Selective breeding for certain traits, which humans have done for thousands of years, can also produce the same results as modifying foods in the lab without the artificial genetic modification.)

Big agribusiness corporations are inefficient. They use a great deal of land, treat it terribly, get little yield (relative to the amount of land they have), and their food is mostly GM and full of pesticides. Syngenta is using GM crops like MIR162, (sounds delicious, right?) which make their own pesticides. This means we’re eating food that is literally a pesticide. The pollen from their GMO crops also spreads to wholesome organic crops, making the hybrid seed produced GM. This is hurting small farmers because their crops are becoming GM when they don’t want that.

To be fair and balanced, I will provide a link to the corporate propaganda that is the No on 92 Coalition: http://votenoon92.com/.

And here is the other sane side:

http://oregonrighttoknow.org/

Monsanto has put $2.5 million into anti-labeling efforts: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/gotoPublicTransactionDetail.do?tranRsn=1872149 and the whole coalition has put in $10 million so far. I expect they’ll dump more money into this before the 4th. But that doesn’t mean we have to put any money into combating their money. We can combat their propaganda just by addressing it directly.

Here’s what votenoon92.com says:

“Measure 92 on the November 2014 Oregon statewide ballot would create a complex and misleading Oregon-only food labeling system that no other state requires. Its poorly written labeling requirements and arbitrary exemptions would hurt thousands of family farmers and small businesses, provide inaccurate and unreliable information for Oregon consumers about the foods we buy, and increase food prices for Oregon families, especially hurting those who can least afford it.”

This is all untrue. They are misleading people by not telling them what is in their foods, and measure 92 would not increase food prices. It would only make organic foods more available, which would make them cheaper. Because most of Smucker’s and Monsanto’s products are GM, they would have to label their products as such, at least in Oregon, and since most Oregonians don’t want to eat GMOs, their GM products would be bought less, and they could lose a substantial amount of money. This is what they’re most worried about. Nothing would prevent anyone from buying their products if they so wished. They would just have a label that indicates they contain GMOs.

The No on 92 Coalition is also putting money into local Oregon newspapers to affect the vote as well. But don’t believe the hype.  The only thing this measure will hurt is the profits of large corporations that make GMOs and keep us on the “pesticide treadmill.” This would not hurt small farmers or low income residents of Oregon. It would only better inform consumers and increase our health. The world is way ahead of us on this issue. Many other countries already have labeling laws. But we don’t because of crony capitalism.

This reminds me of the global warming debate. Individuals trying to detract from the debate will try to make people doubt whether or not it’s real while pragmatists remind us global warming is real and it wouldn’t really matter if it was a “hoax” because we’re going to run out of oil regardless and solar will eventually be cheaper. Whether you care about the Earth or not, solar will overtake oil, just like organic will overtake GMOs.

Please vote Yes on 92 so these lying, giant corporations can lose more money and we can know what we’re eating. Thank you.

(We can make response ads too. No money necessary. I wrote this for $0.)

 

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