Thursday, January 24, 2013
GMO LABELING ACTION IS ON FIRE THROUGHOUT THE USA
On behalf of the steering committee for the California Right to Know campaign, and our 500,000 members and subscribers in California, we want to thank you for your incredible support for Prop 37. With your help, we’ve built a powerful Right to Know Movement. Our Movement, with its call to label genetically engineered foods here in the U.S., is sweeping the nation.
Over the holidays, the California Secretary of State posted the final results for Prop 37. The results were shocking to big food manufacturers and politicians across the country. But they were not shocking to those of us who understood from the beginning the power of a grassroots campaign built on truth and transparency.
Despite being outspent nearly 6 to 1, and a scandalous campaign of dirty tricks and unending barrage of lies and misleading TV ads, we nearly won: YES – 48.6% to NO – 51.4%. After taking on some of the most powerful corporations on the planet, we lost by a mere 353,657 votes.
No one likes losing, especially those of us who formed the steering committee for Prop 37. But we want you to know that your hard work and sacrifice have built an enduring movement to label GMOs here in the U.S.
We also want you to know that we will be back in California in 2014 with another ballot initiative for GMO labeling, and that in the meantime the Prop 37 steering committee members are deeply involved in a GMO labeling ballot initiative in Washington State (I-522), as well as legislative battles in Vermont, Connecticut and many others. Chances for passing mandatory labeling in all three of these states in 2013 are looking good.
In Washington State, I-522, an initiative to label GMOs, recently qualified for the ballot in 2013. Activists there gathered more than 340,000 signatures and the fight has already begun. The initiative already has strong support from farmers, consumers and several key state legislators. And in Vermont and Connecticut, where GMO labeling bills failed last year after Monsanto threatened to sue those states, activists are working once again to push through laws this year.
This fall, more than 6 million Californians voted Yes on 37 to label genetically engineered foods. And millions more, from every state in the country, rallied around this historic battle to label GMOs. People in all 50 states donated time and money to help get the word out. We stood against impossible odds, in the fight against some of the most powerful and corrupt companies in the world. All for the simple right to know what’s in our food.
We narrowly lost this one battle, but we built an unstoppable movement. And we turned a relatively unknown issue into a mainstream public debate.
Just as the country came together to support Prop 37, we must come together to support GMO labeling laws in Washington, Vermont, Connecticut and everywhere active citizens put labeling bills forward in their state legislatures.
It is more urgent than ever that we pass GMO labeling laws this year. Right now, 13 new GMO crops await approval at the USDA. The first genetically engineered animal, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon, could be approved by the FDA in less than 60 days.
Now more than ever, we need to stand together to accomplish our simple goal of labeling genetically engineered foods here in America.
So, stay tuned, stay engaged. Check out the California Right to Know Facebook page where new materials are being posted everyday. And let’s take back our right to know what’s in our food!
Regards and Solidarity,
The Steering Committee of the California Right to Know Campaign
Dave Murphy — Food Democracy Now!
Gretchen DuBeau — Alliance for Natural Health
Pamm Larry — Label GMOs
Steve Rye — Mercola.com
Michael Potter — Eden Foods
Ronnie Cummins — Organic Consumers Association