Get GMO-savvy, folks!

Know what to eat and where to get it

For the (pro-Prop. 37) record
Peter Ratner, who is on the Board of Directors over at the Chico Natural Foods Cooperative (818 Main St., 891-1713), recently emailed me with a statement from the co-op’s BOD regarding the store’s official stance on Proposition 37—the Right to Know Initiative—that will be on November’s ballot in California.

“The Board of Directors of Chico Natural Foods Cooperative is pleased to announce that in keeping with our basic operating principles, we endorse Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Initiative,” Ratner wrote. “The initiative would require labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and prohibit those foods from being described as ‘natural’ on the label.

“One of Chico Natural Foods Cooperative’s long-term goals (or ends) is to be a source for food education in our community. It is in the spirit of this goal that we add our support to the initiative; when consumers know what their food is made of, that contributes to their ability to make informed choices. We feel that passage of Prop. 37 will give consumers access to further information about their food, without imposing undue expenses on the food producers.”

If you’ve been paying attention, big bucks are being spent by such über-corporations as Monsanto, Conagra and General Mills in an attempt to defeat the initiative, which calls for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Amazingly, a number of “natural-foods” brands, such as Kashi, Cascadian Farm, Horizon and Chico-based R.W. Knudsen (owned by parent company Smucker’s), are contributing lots of money to the fund to fight Prop. 37. On the other hand, brands such as Dr. Bronner’s, Nature’s Path, Eden Foods and local champions Lundberg Family Farms have contributed money in support of Prop. 37. See The GreenHouse, CN&R, Aug. 30, 2012, for a complete list of companies that are supporting and fighting Prop. 37. And do business accordingly.

Walmart has decided to sell Monsanto’s “Bt sweet corn,” which is engineered to produce an insecticide as it grows.

Speaking of Monsanto
My friend and CN&R contributor Evan Tuchinsky sent me a link to a Reader Supported News article titled “Top 10 Lies Told by Monsanto on GMO Labeling in California.

Referring to an article posted at, the RSN story takes issue with, among other things, Monsanto’s claim that the “safety and benefits of these [genetically engineered] ingredients are well-established.”

“Unfortunately, no long-term studies exist on either the safety or benefits of GMO ingredients,” writes RSN’s Michele Simon, “so Monsanto has no basis for making such a claim. Indeed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not even require safety studies of genetically engineered foods. Meanwhile, some independent studies raise questions about links to allergies and other potential health risks.”

Simon also objects to Monsanto’s claim that consumers “have broad food choices today, but could be denied these choices if Prop. 37 prevails.”

“There is no basis in logic that consumers could be denied food choices,” she points out. “Proposition 37 actually broadens the meaningful food choices available through greater transparency. Right now, people are eating in the dark.”

Simon also gives the heads-up that Walmart has decided to sell Monsanto’s “Bt sweet corn,” which is engineered to produce an insecticide as it grows.

Go to to read the whole article.