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Crossposted on 43rd State Blues

California voters rejected Prop 37, which would have required retailers and food companies to label products made with genetically modified ingredients, according to Huffington Post.

Millions of dollars, mostly from outside of California, were poured into campaigns both for and against Prop 37. But the donations that came in weighed heavily in favor of Prop 37's opponents.

Companies like Monsanto and The Hershey Co. contributed to what was eventually a $44 million windfall for "No on Prop 37," while proponents were only able to raise $7.3 million, reports California Watch.

Nontheless, Leslie Stoddard, co-founder of GMO Free Idaho, offers six "reasons why we are STILL winning!"

#1 – California Right to Know and Yes on Prop 37 raised $7.3 million in support of GM labeling. When you put into perspective that No on Prop 37 spent $45 million to defeat this initiative it makes you realize just how much everyone’s hard work really paid off. What would the “initial” results have looked like if Yes on Prop 37 had raised $45 million? It would have been a blow out! This my friends, is the power of grassroots! This is the power of TRUTH! And this is NOT defeat.

#2 – The entire country united for this cause, including many Idahoans who attended a screening ofGenetic Rouletteand helped to raise $400 for the Yes on Prop 37 campaign. States from the East and West did their part in raising GMO awareness and making contributions to this campaign by donating and phone banking. If only there was a way to count how many people heard the term GMO for the first time just because of this initiative. So, not only did the nation unite, but Prop 37 opened the eyes of countless individuals who will take into consideration what they are putting in their mouths. Big win here!

#3 – During the Yes on Prop 37 campaign a coalition of 23 states (and counting) was formed. This coalition is dedicated to providing support for each state that plans to pursue a legislative measure or ballot initiative (like Idaho plans to do). We have been sharing ideas, making calls to action, and helping to build the numbers in each state. I’d like to see Monsanto drop $8 million in 23 states at one time when each state decides to roll out their own labeling legislation. The labeling initiative in California was critical to the formation of this coalition…..Winning!

#4 - Two nationwide campaigns have been launched in lieu of Prop 37. The first is GMO Inside, a campaign to “show corporations that people will not complacently serve as lab rats for the testing of genetically engineered foods.” And to “ultimately boycott the companies that want to keep us from knowing what’s in our food. Hitting their bottom line is the only way we can collectively make a significant change to our food system without legislation.”

The second is the Know GMO Project, a campaign that will “collectively create a GMO free society” by targeting local food producers to source non-GMO ingredients and by doing so in a positive manner. Many food producers, like many consumers, are completely unaware of GMOs. Many businesses don’t even know that they are sourcing GM ingredients. “By targeting “mid-level” food producers to enact these non-GMO changes, we can push GMOs off the market without necessarily having to purse labeling laws.” The Know GMO Project has launched phase 1 of 3 of their campaign and we are encouraged to use their non-GMO meme generator to spread awareness on social media sites.

These campaigns will continue the work of Prop 37 and contribute to the tipping point that will push GMOs off our plates and our consumer markets.

#5 –  As you might have heard after viewing Genetic Roulette, the sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products have increased by 217% in just ONE year! Consumers have spoken and as of now 1.2 million signatures have been submitted to the FDA, through the Just Label It campaign, demanding that GMOs be labeled. I don’t think I have to tell you, it’s only a matter of time before we have GMO labeling in some way or another.

#6 – Even if Prop 37′s “final” results prove to not be enough for a victory, the “Right to Know” movement will not stop. Prop 37 was the start of something BIG and this initiative is proof that we cannot be bought and we cannot be broken. The truth will prevail and our consumer rights will be restored. The non-GMO movement is a holistic movement. It’s about preserving what is sacred. It’s about bringing communities together. It’s about nourishing our loved ones. And it’s about leaving a legacy for our future. We have our war paint on and what determined warriors we are! Is this battle easy? No. If it was, would it be worth fighting for?

As Woodrow Wilson said, “The history of liberty, is a history of resistance.” We are the resistance and history will be made, one way or another.

My heart goes out to everyone for their passion and hard work on Yes on Prop 37. Nothing is more fulfilling than being part of this movement and bringing our communities together. I thank each and everyone of you!

Here’s to being GMO free!

Leslie Stoddard

GMO Free Idaho, Co-Founder

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Comment Preferences

  •  People need to start pressing their state legs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Book Bear, USHomeopath

    Unlike when you call or email your congress critter, your state legislators are often really willing to listen to what their people have to say. We need to start an organized campaign to get balls rolling in multiple state legislatures. That is the only way for an effort like this to gain momentum. It's not sexy enough on its own to get publicity.

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      Most of our legislators do not know any more about GMOs than the average person in the average grocery store. It is astonishing that over 60 other countries have either banned or labeled and the US does not.

  •  It's still prohibited on a federal level. (0+ / 0-)

    Any state initiatives have the same problem that Prop 37 had, constitutionally.

  •  If there's one staple of progressivism.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy's the idea that even though we lost, we really won.  That's a lot less healthy than eating GMO food, if you ask me.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:17:38 AM PST

    •  Personally I think that these foods should (0+ / 0-)

      be labeled - there's already so much "noise" on the labels that this will be ignored by 98% of people out there in any event.

      Actually regulations, however, would open a huge can of words considering that virtually all food crops now commercially used are genetically modified in one way or another, so again, the labeling would either have to be very narrow in scope, or so ubiquitous as to become meaningless.

      •  "in one way or another" is a way of obscuring (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the issue. genetically modified crops engineered through gene splicing are done by a totally different process than breeding hybrids or new varieties through methods that go back to the domestication of crops in the neolithic era. to conflate the two is an agribiz PR strategy.

        •  I'm not necessarily talking about that (0+ / 0-)

          I'm talking about "radiation breeding"

          The method was discovered some 80 years ago when Lewis J. Stadler of the University of Missouri used X-rays to zap barley seeds. The resulting plants were white, yellow, pale yellow and some had white stripes — nothing of any practical value.

          But the potential was clear. Soon, by exposing large numbers of seeds and young plants, scientists produced many more mutations and found a few hidden beneficial ones. Peanuts got tougher hulls. Barley, oats and wheat got better yields. Black currants grew.

          The process worked because the radiation had randomly mixed up the genetic material of the plants. The scientists could control the intensity of the radiation and thus the extent of the disturbance, but not the outcome. To know the repercussions, they had to plant the radiated material, let it grow and examine the results. Often, the gene scrambling killed the seeds and plants, or left them with odd mutations. But in a few instances, the process made beneficial traits.


          So basically, this method massively disrupts the genomes of plants, in a much more nefarious manner than the targeted genome changes in the so-called "GMO" lines (which they are of course, but so are all the crops generated by radiation breeding)

          What is the scope of this:

          Though poorly known, radiation breeding has produced thousands of useful mutants and a sizable fraction of the world’s crops, Dr. Lagoda said, including varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum. The mutant wheat is used for bread and pasta and the mutant barley for beer and fine whiskey.
          here's another link

          And grapefruit!

          Another practical result of the BNL irradiation program is gourmet grapefruit – Star Ruby and Rio Red.

          In the late 1950’s, a Texas citrus grower found a natural mutation on a Foster Pink grapefruit tree. Called Hudson Pink, the fruit was sweet and red, but contained a lot of seeds.

          In 1959, the Texas A&I University Citrus Center sent to BNL more than 3,000 Hudson Pink seeds for irradiation. Six seeds produced an almost seedless grapefruit with peel an orange-red color and juice the color of ripe tomatoes. From these, one was selected that consistently produced the fruit with the fewest seeds. This was the Star Ruby grapefruit – a brilliant, red grapefruit with a higher sugar and citric acid content than its predecessors.

          IMHO, these deserve to be labeled as GMOs as much as anything out there . ..
          •  mutations are part of evolution (0+ / 0-)

            splicing genes between different species? far less common.

            •  Not really, genes are transferred (0+ / 0-)

              between species (even kingdoms) with regularity.  The human genome for example, has something like 240,000,000 bp of genetic material transferred to us from some other species (via viruses).  That's a whole shitload, not a rare event.  Plants are way more promiscuous than that even in transferring genetic material.

              In fact, the toolkit of enzymes used by genetic engineers come from nature.

              Seriously, you have to totally twist yourself into a major knot to be for one approach and against the other.

    •  any initiative that changes things significantly (0+ / 0-)

      usually has to go up in a couple election cycles before it passes, especially when said initiative stands to hit a powerful interest in the pocketbook. the trend lines matter nearly as much as the results.

      see also: every other grassroots activism-driven issue that started out losing a close initiative race in california.

  •  i hope this is put up for a vote again (0+ / 0-)

    and this time perhaps with minor tweaks to improve the prop. i ran into several friends who supported the idea, but were unsure about the enforcement mechanism. is there any possibility of getting this through the CA state leg?

  •  GMO Free Idaho and initiatives (0+ / 0-)

    We do know that these initiatives or legislation attempts need to be introduced multiple times to gain traction. We are currently working with a Coalition of States for Labeling. There are 35 states participating in the coalition. Almost a third have either introduced legislation in their state or they have found a co sponsor and are preparing to introduce. The coalition has worked hard to obtain language for the legislation that helps create uniform legislation across the country.
    Here in Idaho, we have found a legislator willing to introduce a bill for us next session. Over the course of this year, we will be building our support and co sponsors.
    There is, of course, value in just having the discussion and especially in multiple states all at one time.
    We are in the majority. We think we deserve to know what we are buying when the food has been altered with foreign species DNA in a way that could never occur naturally.
    GMO Free Idaho

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