The election has finally come to a close and most people are sighing a breath of relief. Whether your candidate of choice was Obama or Romney, seeing the end of this campaign season seemed to be welcomed by many. Of course, besides choosing a President, there were many other choices voters had to consider at the polls. There were a lot of propositions on the ballots in each state and Prop 37 in California drew a lot of attention, not just within the state, but nationally. The hot button issue of labeling GMO foods was on a lot of people’s minds. This measure was discussed here on Frugivore recently and highlighted how this proposition has national implications.

I am very passionate about food justice, and I’m not shy about stating that I voted in favor of this proposition. Needless to say, I was very disappointed or rather incensed when the proposition failed. Then adding insult to further injury, I came across this article about the California NAACP voting in opposition to the proposition as well. In the article, a few key points are pointed out highlighting why this information is so jarring. The first thing to understand is that opposition to Prop 37 comes largely from the biochemical companies Monsanto and Dupont. It’s important to note here that Monsanto is a leading producer of genetically engineered seed.

The article points out that it is well documented that people of color are disproportionately more likely to suffer health issues such as obesity and type 2 diabetes and that these companies opposing the proposition are largely to blame for these epidemics. So why would the California NAACP be in opposition to this measure? They chose to use the same tired line that was being fed to us by the relentless ads we were inundated with here in California. The story is – “it would increase the grocery bills of the average California family by hundreds of dollars a year.” However, tenured Emory University of Law professor, Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Ph.D. counters that by stating, “Consumers will likely see no increases in prices as a result of labeling required.” This comes from studies showing that 61 other countries label GE foods and in places such as Europe there were no changes in costs due to the labeling of foods. Studies have been conducted linking serious health issues to eating GMO foods. A recent study that was conducted has linked GE corn to tumors, organ damage and early death.

So, after reading this information and doing my own research, my question is why are companies such as Monsanto and Dupont so invested in keeping information hidden? Why did they create blatant lies in order to confuse voters? They were major funders in the “No on 37” campaign, outspending supporters a whopping 10 to 1! If there is nothing to hide then why be so opposed to letting consumers know what’s in their food? When you have other countries refusing GMO foods, referring to them as “FrankenFoods,” you would think more people would take notice. You would also think that the National Advancement of Colored People would consider that even if there was a chance that grocery bills could go up, what would be worse – paying a few more cents at the register or a few more thousands in medical bills? We must look at the big picture. We might also get more insight by looking into the pockets of the California NAACP and discover the real reason behind their opposition and jumping on Big Ag’s bandwagon.

Communities of color are already at a disadvantage when it comes to the quality of food in their supermarkets. Everyone deserves to have the highest quality of food available and to know if their food has been genetically altered and the implications it carries. While I’m fully aware that if food was labeled it still may not make a difference to some, it would at least it would be plain what choice they are then consciously making.

The election may be over but the fight is not and you can still become involved if you are inclined to do so. I highly encourage everyone to start by doing their homework and sharing information with others. The good thing that did come out of Prop 37 being on the ballot was awareness on a broader scale. The goal now is to not become complacent and continue making noise and boycotting companiesthat were opposed to the measure. Yes, I know money talks and that is likely why Prop 37 failed, but we can collectively talk louder with our actions and continue pushing for change and labels for our food!

Now, what are your thoughts? Do you think it’s important to know if your food has been genetically altered? How do you feel about the NAACP opposing the measure? Please share in the comments!

This post originally appeared on Frugivore. Republished with permission. 

  • K

    i voted NO on this proposition and Ill tell you why as a simple consumer, im not a politician nor do I consider myself politically advanced but after doing some research which was hard in and of itself, I didnt understand why animals werent included. Something about that was very fishy, yes i know the animals must be genetically engineered themselves but i know these folks realized that by process we eat what the animal eats because we are eating the animal so why wouldnt animals who were fed these GMO grains etc be included…i didnt know what was going on but i know it was fishy so i had to vote NO the same thing for that insurance bill that was on the ballot, i didnt quite know what was going on with that either but i know something was fishy about a insurance company owner backing a bill to supposedly save consumers money which by definition would take money out of his pocket..fishy fishy fishy

  • CJ

    But wouldn’t this be a first step. First genetically modified seeds, then genetically modified animals. Of course the bill wasn’t perfect but it was something. Will you only vote for something if it includes everything you’re looking for? I can understand if it contained things you didn’t agree with but I don’t get not voting for something you agree with because it didn’t have everything you agreed with. I’m not from California so maybe I’m missing part of it.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I don’t agree with the NAACP coming out against this prop. GIven the fact that arguments could be made on how both outcomes could have helped black people, if they weren’t going to support it, they should have just stayed silent.

  • Jessie

    I agree. They shouldn’t of had a position on this issue. This proposition would have been good for the blk community. I live in Alabama and I was especially curious about how this vote would turn out.

  • omfg

    this bill will be back on the ballot in california again. they people behind it didn’t have a very good offense to prepare for the nutty monsanto, kraft “food” assault.

    i believe the next time it’s on the ballot, it will pass. it’s unfortunate us americans are a bit backwards when it comes to issues like this.

  • Ash

    I’m not from Cali but my boyfriend and he voted no because his grandfather is a farmer. We finally had to agree to disagree because I couldn’t see how it could be a bad thing to consumers to have more information and a better understanding of the products they buy. Also, I didn’t know anything about genetically modified corn causing cancer. Thanks for the read, I will be looking more into this for myself…

  • http://gravatar.com/hsm36 Whatever

    Do people still take the NAACP seriously? They never take a stand on issues that don’t hit the mainstream media hard first. I guess black people will just continue to eat crappy food and die of heart disease, obesity and cancer which are all directly linked to eating food with GMO’s. If you voted for Obama, you would be disappointed to know that since he’s been in office he has appointed about 3 or 4 former Monsanto executives to work for the FDA (yes… WTF?)

  • omfg

    @ ash

    a lot of small farmers agree with labelling gmos. especially the ones who are at odds with the monsantos of the world. and that’s a lot of farmers.

    you (and your boyfriend) need to really do some reading and stop falling for every bought commercial spot monsanto or cargill puts out.

    i wish people would turn off the damn tv and learn to frickin think.

    isht.

    i think dozens of countries require this labeling by law – that includes china and nations in the eu. why haven’t they experienced issues? wake the heck up. you are getting played and you don’t even know it.

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