(If you’re coming to the table late and aren’t sure what a GMO actually is, you’ll want to read Just Label It, Part 1 first)
So you’ve read my first post and gather that I’m a Vote Yes on 92 person. But what about all of those print and tv ads you are seeing, insisting that you vote no. “It’s so confusing,” you lament, wringing your hands. What’s a person to do?
I’m here with the good news: It’s not confusing.
Forget about those sad-looking news anchors on t.v. They sleep odd hours. Measure 92 is about adding a word or two to an already existing label–that simple. In fact, in over sixty countries the label already exists… Basically the question is whether or not you care to know what’s in your food. If we are what we eat, then I think you might want to know/care. But I digress. Let’s talk about those ads.
“It’s poorly written; not everything will be labeled.” Pictures shown: milk, eggs, and meat, restaurant food, alcoholic beverages
#1 If there were such things as GMO milk and eggs they would be labeled. If the milk or eggs came from GMO cows and chickens, they would be labeled. The GMO salmon I mentioned last time would need to be labeled. What are not labeled are meat and eggs from animals that were fed GMO animal feed. (Maybe next time?)
#2 Restaurant food isn’t part of the initiative. This is about labels for groceries.
#3 Beer is not considered food. Yes, I know Uncle Billy-Bob disagrees, but officially —it’s not.
“It will hurt Oregon farmers.”
Thousands of Oregon farmers support measure 92. Take a look at this list if you have any doubt. And there are many more whose names aren’t listed. Here is an article written by an actual Oregon farmer. If two entire counties (agricultural, conservative counties) voted to ban GMO crops earlier this year, you can bet they understand the importance of labeling GMO food. None of Oregon’s top ten cash crops are GMO.
Why does the Oregon Farm Bureau oppose measure 92? Probably because it receives sizeable funding from large biotech corporations Monsanto and Syngenta.
“It will cost the consumer money.”
Let’s just stop for a reality check right there. If there is one way to cast doubt in the minds of Americans it’s to tell them something is going to cost them more money. Why do we even fall for that anymore? I’ll give you the stats in a minute, but before that, can I just say, What makes you think you have any control over price setting, anyway? The industries in power will raise the prices any darn time they feel like it!!! We are powerless! Don’t be fooled!
Okay, so now the stats. Some of the ads say crazy stuff like labeling for GMOs will cost consumers hundreds of dollars each year. Why would it? They change labels all the time. Three other states have labeling laws and 64 other countries. A new study showed that if it does cost consumers, it might be about two bucks over the course of a year. Frankly, it would be worth it for me to pay two dollars a year to have the label right up front in big letters. As it is now I have to read the tiny print looking for mention of soybeans and corn syrup…
Okay, I think I covered the confusing opposition points. Stay tuned, there may yet be a Just Label It, Part 3. 🙂