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Are You Concerned About GMOs?

The Fairfax Town Council recently passed a resolution in support of Proposition 37, which would required the labeling of genetically engineered food. Should the Mill Valley City Council do the same?

The Fairfax Town Council audience erupted into applause and cheers earlier this month when the council adopted a resolution in support of Proposition 37, the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.”

Several Marin residents spoke in support of the town’s resolution and against genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

“Like Smart Meters, GMOs are a tyranny of public policy that have been employed onto us with no democratic process,” said Fairfax Councilman Larry Bragman. “There is really no mechanism to give people the opportunity to not consumer GMOs.”

If California voters pass Proposition 37 in November, genetically-engineered food sold in retail outlets must be labeled as a GMO. The proposition would also not allow genetically engineered foods to be labeled as natural.

Fairfax resident Valeri Hood told the council that many people have a limited understanding of biology, making it difficult for some to understand DNA and the basics of a genetically-modified organism.

GMOs are created by gene splicing techniques. Opponents argue it creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes.

According to the Yes on 37 “California Right to Know” campaign, genetically engineered food can create unintended toxicants and increase food allergies.

A number of Marin residents thanked the Fairfax council for showing support for Prop 37. Fairfax resident Grace Severtson told the council that corn, cotton, soy and canola are genetically modified unless they have a “non GMO” label or are organic. “If the package says natural, that doesn’t mean anything,” she said.

Severtson said that there are roughly 50 other countries in the world that do label GMOs (including the European Union, Japan and Australia). “For your children’s health and food safety, please help us.”

According to the nonprofit Non GMO Project, “high-risk crops” that are currently in commercial production and must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project verified products include:

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90 percent of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88 percent of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90 percent  of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94 percent of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95 percent of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

Some animal products, including milk, meat, eggs and honey, are also considered “high-risk” because of contamination in feed.

Politicians who have endorsed Prop. 37 include U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, State Assemblyman Jared Huffman and State Assemblyman Michael Allen.

Several major U.S. food makers, including Monsanto, Pepsico, Nestle, Kellogg and Coca-Cola have contributed to the No on 37 campaign.

What do you think? Do you support Prop. 37? Are you worried about GMOs?

Also, if you want to get involved. Hood is  to spread the word about Prop. 37. 

Rico August 11, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Yes indeed, I support prop. 37. Why should big corporations be allowed to campaign against something that is harmful to everyone on earth ? All it is is a labeling so people can make an informed choice, and that should have been mandated from the beginning. But big ag fought it off for years, and made a huge profit to boot. I would never purchase any product knowing that it has GMO produce in it. And how about the droughts ? Most of the crop losses are GMO garbage crops , natures way of setting things right !
susan August 12, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Whether you are for or against GMOs, this proposition is about labeling. Of course Monsanto, etal. do not want us to be made aware that most of the packaged foods we consume are made from GMO crops, such as corn. I hope the state of California is in the forefront and supports our right to know what's in our food.
Sandra Mardigian August 15, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Yes, Mill Valley should adopt a resolution supporting prop 37. The county should, too, along with all our other towns. As Susan says, this is about labeling -- revealing what is in the food we eat. There is no way to argue against labeling.
Bob Silvestri August 15, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Take action in support of labeling and against undisclosed use of GMOs by signing petitions by our best national nonprofit public safety guardian, the Center for Food Safety: Go to: http://hq-salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=7055 http://hq-salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=5452 http://hq-salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=7890 http://hq-salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=8071

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