Last year, according to Nielsen, foods labeled “natural” generated $43 billion in sales.That’s more than five times the figure for foods carrying an “organic” label ($8.9 billion).
Meat from livestock fed genetically modified corn, for example, can still be labeled “natural,” as can animals raised with regular doses of antibiotics. And the USDA has no regulations at all for labeling natural foods that do not contain meat or eggs.
More than half of those surveyed said that they specifically looked for a “natural” label on their foods.
There’s just one problem: There are no real federal regulations around the word “natural.”
Even with the lack of regulation, plaintiffs can sue companies individually for false advertising—and in recent years, consumers have done just that. In 2013, PepsiCo. agreed to a $9 million class action settlement fund after plaintiffs complained about Naked Juice’s “all natural” labeling that belied ingredients like genetically modified soy.
When pesticide and junk food manufacturers spend $70 million to keep you from knowing the truth about what’s in their products, the game is rigged.
When companies like Monsanto try to pass a law that makes them immune from prosecution, and get away with it (if only temporarily) by paying off the politicians, the game is rigged.
When the Grocery Manufacturers Association spends millions lobbying Congress so Congress members will introduce a bill to preempt state food labeling laws, the game is rigged.
The game may be rigged. But thanks to you, we’re un-rigging the game. One vote, one purchase, one protest, one signature at a time.
One of these days, it’s gonna be game over for companies like Monsanto and Coca-Cola.
Until then, we need your support.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Oregon, Vermont and other states)
via The Huffington Post
HONOLULU — Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113 into law on Thursday, prohibiting biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops.
The bill exempts the island’s GMO papaya industry.
Kenoi said that the new law signals the county’s desire to encourage community-based farming and ranching, as opposed to playing host to global agribusiness corporations in a letter to council members announcing his decision to sign the bill.
None of the biotech companies that have taken up root in Hawaii in recent years, such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer, operate on Big Island. The new law makes sure that remains the case.
“Our community has a deep connection and respect for our land, and we all understand we must protect our island and preserve our precious natural resources,” Kenoi wrote to council members. “We are determined to do what is right for the land because this place is unlike any other in the world.”
The effects of eating genetically engineered (GE) foods are still largely unknown. The studies that led to the market release of certain genetically modified seeds were conducted by the same companies that manufacture the seeds themselves, and the raw data for these tests have not been released for the public to see. There have been independent, peer-reviewed studies that suggest that there could be harmful effects to human health caused by the use of GMOs and the chemical pesticides and herbicides that go along with them, but again, there has not been enough research done and the jury is still out. Also, without labeling GE foods, we cannot associate any health problems with people who ate them — because we do not know who ate them. Since the FDA has no way to track adverse health effects in people consuming GE foods, and because there is no requirement that food containing GE ingredients be labeled, there is no effective way to gather data on health problems that may be happening.
Seeds of Freedom seeks to challenge the mantra that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world, promoted by the pro-GM lobby. In tracking the story of seed it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the take over of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the food global system.
Through interviews with leading international experts such as Dr Vandana Shiva and Henk Hobbelink, and through the voices of a number of African farmers, the film highlights how the loss of indigenous seed goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty. The pressure is growing to replace the diverse, nutritional, locally adapted and resilient seed crops which have been bred by small-scale farmers for millenia, by monocultures of GM seed.
The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost. It’s time to change the story. http://seedsoffreedom.info/
“If we don’t radically transform the direction of the global food system we will never feed the billion who are hungry, nor will we be able to feed ourselves in the future.”
We have a fundamental right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our families. Tomorrow’s the day to vote it into law!
Clear facts about proposition 37
Companies change their labeling all the time, and independent research shows Prop 37 will not affect food prices. Read more »
Genetically Modified Organisms are linked to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health problems. The Food and Drug Administration has said “providing more information to consumers about bioengineered foods would be useful.” Read more »
Prop 37 is self-enforced and requires no new bureaucracy. The state official analyst has said any costs for enforcement would range from 1 to 3 cents per year for each Californian. Read more »
Prop 37 requires labeling for genetically engineered foods for the groceries you buy. The initiative contains exemptions from labeling requirements for practical purposes, such as food served in restaurants. Read more »
Prop 37 is supported by consumers, farmers, nurses and many more. It is opposed by Monsanto, Dow, and foreign chemical companies spending millions to confuse us. Read more »