The defeat of Proposition 37, of our right to know what’s in our food, is a devastating blow. But it clarifies a truth that needs to be understood: We cannot win if we play by their rules. It’s time to set up our own game with our own rules.
by Heidi Stevenson
How much money will Agribusiness spend to keep you from knowing what they’re putting in your food? The answer was clear after yesterday’s vote: They will spend as much as necessary. In the case of defeating the grass roots effort to require labeling of GMOs in your food, that price was close to $50 million, about ten times the amount that the GMO labeling campaigners were able to muster for the effort.
California’s Proposition 37 was the people’s initiative to require that all foods containing GMO ingredients be labeled. That’s all. It merely said that we have the right to know when such products are in our foods. It’s far simpler than requirements that already exist, such as nutrition statements and handling instructions.
It takes no great intelligence to realize that the cost of such labeling is minimal. It takes even less to understand that we have an inherent right to know what’s in our food. Yet, when big money gets hold of an issue, it’s portrayed as something other than what’s involved. In the case of the GMO-labeling initiative, there was no limit to the lies that were told. As Stacy Malkan explained in GMO Lobby’s Fraud & Lies to Stop Labeling GMOs, breaking the law was of little concern. Lying was just a tool in their chest. Deceit is simply a tactic. Misrepresentation is their strategy.
The Yes on 37 Right to Know campaign was guilty of just one thing: innocence. They believed that right could beat might. They believed that truth and rightness could win the battle against injustice. They believed that, given the truth, the average person, the average voter, would cast the right vote. Sadly, they underestimated the power of wealth. Its inherent lack of morality. Its ability to use media to give a false impression. Its utter lack of morality, let alone ethics.
As it stands now, there is virtually no limit to the nightmare that our food supply can become. It matters not that GMOs have not only not been proven safe, they’ve been proven to be extremely dangerous. They’re a Pandora’s box of evil aimed directly at our guts.
The one good thing that can come out of this should be the recognition that we cannot win by playing with rules that they make. We cannot win when we got to war on their battlefield. This is a battle that must be taken to a different field.
There is one thing, and one thing only, that the corporations taking over control of the most personal aspects of our lives can understand: money. We must take that away from them. We must learn to obtain our food from other sources. We must start growing our own, trading with others, forming cooperatives—doing whatever we must to separate our lives from corporate control.
We cannot win by playing their game. They own the umpires and referees. They own the media. They make the rules and enforce them. They can break their own rules with impunity, but we cannot. So, we must pick up our toys and stop playing with them. There is no way other than refusing to play their game.
It won’t be easy—but the option is sure devastation.