'Big org’ slams ‘big ag’ for raising too much money

The Cornucopia Institute, outraged at the audacity of some organic businesses who oppose an initiative on the Nov. 5 ballot in Washington state that would mandate labeling of genetically engineered ingredients on food packages, has resorted to exaggeration and name calling.

Apparently, its expectation is that all businesses producing, branding or selling organic products should fall in lock-step with its ongoing GMO labeling campaign. When a few decided to think independently of that dogma, they were presented as part of an evil empire lurking in the night.

That’s how the Institute sees Washington’s Proposition I-522 initiative to label GMO products – a war between good and evil – “pitting consumer and farmer advocates against multi-billion-dollar agribusiness corporations,” they said in a recent news release.

In my view, it’s people who take the time to look at science before they act  against people who can’t read a label on a rubber ducky without hyperventilating.

The fuss started when the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a national business lobbying organization against labeling disclosed its donor list after a Washington’s state attorney general filed a lawsuit.

The Cornucopia Institute, organic industry apologists till the end, strutted out a silly, convoluted “infographic” detailing who contributed to the anti-labeling campaign, all the while claiming they had “outed” several organic groups contributing to GMA.

A headline on a Cornucopia news release said, “Unveiled: GMO labeling opponents come out of the shadows.”

Cornucopia’s codirector, Mark Kastel said, “Consumers might be surprised to find out that some of their favorite organic and natural brands, hiding behind their lobbyist, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, are contributing bushel baskets of cash towards thwarting their right to make informed choices in the supermarket.”

I would refer Kastel to an Oct. 14 article from Forbesmagazine, which reads in part, “Every major international science body in the world has reviewed multiple independent studies – in some cases numbering in the hundreds – in coming to the conclusion that GMO crops are as safe or safer than conventional or organic foods.”

The article also referred to “a team of Italian scientists who summarized 1,783 studies about the safety and environmental impacts of GMO foods – a staggering number.”

The Forbes article noted that researchers “couldn’t find a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods pose any harm to humans or animals.”

Kastel and other organic groups appear shocked that some organic companies aren’t toeing the line on GMO labeling. But what really concerns them is the fact that those against mandatory GMO labeling have raised five times more than those in favor of GMO labeling.

I wonder if it ever occurred to Mr. Kastel that they just might know something he doesn’t – that it makes no sense to put two different labels on two products that have been proven by science to be essentially the same.

TAGS: Legislative
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