Wallyworld and GMOs
Anti-GMO protesters post up at Walmart to decry its decision to carry genetically modified corn
Wallyworld’s decision to sell GMO corn
I caught up recently with Amanda Bosschart, the local leader of the Yes on Prop. 37—California Right to Know GMO-labeling campaign, and asked her to say a few words about the protest earlier this month (Sept. 8) at the local Walmart by anti-GMO/pro-Prop. 37 activists.
“We had a great day on [that] Saturday,” Bosschart said, referring to the event that attracted roughly two dozen protesters.
“I went into the store with a few helpers and we talked to the weekend manager about the [GMO] Bt corn,” she continued. “[We] handed him 13 letters asking the store to please not sell GMO sweet corn in the Chico store, and asking for the store to endorse the [Prop. 37] campaign. … He, as a person, thinks GMOs should be labeled. But as the store manager, he had no comment.
“I asked him if the managers of the [Walmart] stores had any control over what was sold in their stores, and he didn’t really know. He talked to us for about five minutes before disappearing with the letters. He had the other manager give us a [phone] number of the [Walmart] media-relations person; it was an 800 number.”
Bosschart said that she and the protesters remained in front of the store for about 45 minutes before they were asked by one of the managers to leave, adding, “I asked him where the ‘free-speech’ area was located, and he said on the outside of their property.”
Wallyworld, Part 2
Yesmagazine.org recently ran a story called “California Soccer Moms Face Off against Monsanto.” Featured in the story is Chico’s own Pamm Larry, the one-woman anti-GMO army that started the whole Prop. 37 train in motion (see The GreenHouse, “Labeling GMO food,” CN&R, April 21, 2011).
“I started this in January 2011, because I was tired of the collusion of government and business hiding what was in our foods,” Larry was quoted as saying. The only way forward, it seemed to her, was “for the people of California to be able to vote to get GMOs labeled.”
The article includes a photograph of parents and children engaging in a protest against GMOs and for Prop. 37—carrying signs such as “GMO is a no-go” and “I’m not a lab rat”—recently in front of an unnamed California Walmart store, similar to the Sept. 8 protest held at the local Walmart.
“Currently, the Yes on 37 campaign enjoys a sizable polling advantage,” reads the article. “A recent poll from Pepperdine University showed 65 percent of California residents in favor of GMO labeling.” And, as the article points out, “[C]orporations know that a GMO-labeling initiative passed [in California] will likely have national implications,” hence the more than $25 million that’s been funneled into the No on 37 campaign by Monsanto and friends.
Go to www.tinyurl.com/wallygmoworld to read the whole article.
Learn more about GMOs
On Sept. 29, Unnatural Selection, the third film in the ongoing educational series and fundraiser for the Yes on 37 campaign, will be shown at 2 p.m. at Valley Oaks Village (1950 Wild Oak Lane). The European documentary takes a look at some of the casualties of the corporate push for genetically engineered crops, including an interview with Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, who was sued by Monsanto for patent infringement after its genetically engineered, Roundup-resistant canola seeds contaminated his crop after blowing in from a nearby field.
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A final thought
How did we get to the point where we have to fight for the right to know what we are eating? Isn’t it just common sense, like not taking candy from strangers?