Labeling GMO food

The right to know what you’re eating

Pamm Larry is leading the way to GMO labeling.

Pamm Larry is leading the way to GMO labeling.

Photo By christine g.k. lapado

Mandatory GMO labeling
Local grandmother and food activist Pamm Larry is leading a grassroots charge to get an initiative put on the 2012 California ballot that would require all genetically modified (GMO) foods—including meat and other products from animals fed GMO foods—to be labeled as such.

Larry (pictured) calls herself the “primary instigator” behind the Committee for the Right to Know, which recently launched a website called Label GMOs: It’s Our Right to Know ( She just got back from the San Francisco Green Festival, and she was asked to return to San Francisco in September to help organize and participate in a conference on GMOs.

Larry said that after “bitching and moaning” for years about the increasing prevalence of GMO foods and lack of labeling as such, she decided to act.

In January, she “took six weeks to learn about government and the initiative process,” and by early April she had a website and a Facebook page up and running with more than 700 supporters.

Larry has been gaining support throughout the state, including from the California State Grange, she said.

She has to have a properly worded document to state authorities by September; upon approval, the big job begins of garnering enough signatures to get the initiative put on the ballot.

“As consumers, we have a right to know what we put in our mouth,” Larry said. Go to to learn more and to volunteer to help.

Justice for minority farmers?
The USDA is putting out the word that any Hispanic or female farmer who feels he or she was discriminated against by the USDA in regard to the taking out or servicing of a loan during the time period of 1981-2000 should file a claim that could net the claimant a cash award of up to $50,000. The USDA “will also provide a total of up to $160 million in debt relief to successful claimants who currently owe USDA money for eligible farm loans,” according to, the Women and Hispanic Claims Program website (which is in both English and Spanish). Visit the site or call 1-888-508-4429 for more info and to request a Claim Package.

See calendar for Earth Day events

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Log onto this Earth Day, April 22 (and throughout April), and take Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s pledge to unplug and get outside! SNB will donate $25 to one of four green organizations—the American Solar Energy Society; Engineers Without Borders, USA; the Wild Salmon Center in Portland, Ore.; or Rails-to-Trails Conservancy—for each pledge (up to $2,500). The outfit that ends up with the most pledge-votes gets $5,000.

“Think big. Think green. Think $5,000.”
That’s what the Raley’s Reach program encouraged residents of Northern California and Nevada to do in its recent campaign. Sponsored by the Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, the program solicited ideas, through April 20, from community members, nonprofit organizations and service groups on how to make best use of five $5,000 grants to create positive change in three areas—improving children’s lives, creating healthy communities and celebrating the arts. The public is invited to vote on submissions April 22-May 14. Log on at