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California State Grange Supports GMO Labeling for November Ballot
by Dan Bacher
Saturday Feb 18th, 2012 11:43 AM
“The bottom line is Californians have a right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children," says Pamm Larry, founder of the Committee For the Right to Know.

California State Grange Supports GMO Labeling for November Ballot

by Dan Bacher

Thousands of volunteers will fan out throughout the state today, February 18 to launch a petition drive to get the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” on the ballot in November. In the thick of the grass-roots initiative is the California State Grange, one of the leading partners in this historic effort.

“The California State Grange has long supported the idea that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in the food supply should be adequately tested and that consumers are entitled to know what’s in food they eat,” according to a news release from the Grange. “The American people agree. Yet despite overwhelming support for GMO labeling, for over a decade regulators and legislators at the national and state level have largely ignored public concerns.”

In fact, not only has the Food and Drug Administration ignored these concerns, but the agency is now fast-tracking the approval for human consumption of the first-ever genetically engineered animal, AquaBounty Atlantic salmon, better known as “Frankenfish.”

That’s why the Committee for the Right to Know is taking the issue directly to the voters of California. Now, with petitions in hand, over 1,500 volunteers will be gathering signatures at stores and farmers markets up and down the state.

“The bottom line is Californians have a right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children. It’s time to send a strong, direct message to those who govern us, whether they be agency or elected, that we want genetically engineered foods labeled,” says Pamm Larry, founder of the Committee For the Right to Know.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are often called genetically engineered (GE). The correct scientific term is “transgenics.” This is a process whereby the genes of one species are inserted into another species. For the purposes of this initiative, the term does not include hybrids, selective breeding, grafting or MAS (Marker Assisted Selection).

The main reason why initiative advocates want them labeled is because they see enough independent data to suggest possible health risks. "We don’t want to eat them, but we can’t know which foods they are in if they aren’t labeled," according to http://www.labelgmos.org. "It’s a basic consumer right we are asking for. Given the conflicting data and our mistrust in an industry that has been proven to hide negative findings, we have the right to know what we are buying and putting in our children’s mouths."

Fifty countries with over 40% of the world’s population already label genetically engineered foods, including the entire European Union. China also labels genetically engineered foods. California should lead on this important issue - now's the time to label "Frankenfoods" in California!

Check the website, http://www.labelgmos.org, for more information on this issue or contact: (916) 454-5805, pr [at] CaliforniaGrange.org, http://www.CaliforniaGrange.org

GMOs - the ultimate in privatization

Genetically modified foods are the ultimate form of corporate privatization, the privatization of life itself. They are being pushed by Monsanto and the Obama administration as part of the campaign by the corporations, Wall Street banksters and corrupt government officials to "privatize everything."

The petition drive to put the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” on the ballot occurs as the Brown and Obama administrations are fast-tracking the privatization of water resources in California through the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP to build the peripheral canal.

The peripheral canal would facilitate the export of northern California to subsidized corporate agribusiness interests and southern California - and would result in the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon, Sacramento splittail and southern resident killer whales, which feed on salmon.

At the same time, the Brown administration, under the "leadership" of California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, is forging ahead with the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called "marine protected areas" on the California coast. On January 1, a network of "marine protected areas," overseen by a big oil industry lobbyist, went into effect in Southern California waters in a deplorable example of the privatization of ocean "conservation."

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and an avid advocate of new oil drilling off the California coast, the Keystone XL pipeline and hydrofracking, served as Chair of the "august body" known as the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force that developed the questionable "marine protected areas."

Reheis-Boyd and her cohorts on the task force, including a marina developer, real estate executive and other political hacks with numerous conflicts of interest, made sure that these "marine protected areas" failed to protect the ocean from oil drilling and spills, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy projects and all other human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering. The corrupt initiative is backed not only by the Western States Petroleum Association, but by Safeway Stores, the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart) and the shadowy Resources Legacy Foundation, the funding source for the process.

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On February 18th, dozens of trained signature gathering volunteers held a launch event for the "California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act" at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Green Grange. The event was hosted by GMO-Free Right to Know! Santa Cruz, the organizing group for trained signature gathering volunteers throughout Santa Cruz County, and one of the most active groups in the state working to pass this historic ballot initiative.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/02/19/18707706.php