Is America’s Food Policy Completely for Sale?

Written by Max Goldberg on October 24, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

There are a few things that we know for sure when it comes to food policy in our country.

First, according to the Food & Water Watch, $572 million was spent on lobbying by the biotech and chemical industries from 1999-2010.

Two, when considering approving genetically-modified crops (GMOs) in the 1990s, scientists at the FDA were very, very concerned about the problems that GMOs would cause to human health – allergies, GI issues, etc. – and wanted longer-term research completed before granting approval.

These worries were quickly dismissed by Michael Taylor, the person at the FDA who recklessly approved GMOs 16 years ago and also happened to be a former lawyer for Monsanto.

(By the way, guess who President Obama recently appointed as the Food Safety Czar at the FDA and has made it his priority to crack down on small organic farmers selling raw milk? Yes, you got it – Michael Taylor.)

What is glaringly different about the two examples above and Proposition 37, the GMO-labeling initiative in California, is that Big Ag and the chemical companies can no longer influence policy behind closed doors. They must “buy” their policy in the public domain.

In today’s New York Times, I strongly suggest that you read Mark Bittman’s excellent column “Buying the Vote on GMOs” where he talks about this very issue in more depth.

To me, Proposition 37 isn’t just a vote on GMO-labeling.

It is the first step in taking back control of our food system from politicians and bureaucrats who have completely “sold out” the American consumer.

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  1. It’s getting brutal out there. Did you see the article that Michael Pollan tweeted from Forbes Magazine? These companies must really feel threatened to call Jeffrey Smith and the Institute for Responsible Technology “big money”? Aren’t these non-profits just barely surviving?

    Written by Nancy Sullivan on October 24, 2012 @ 7:08 pm
  2. Hi Nancy,

    These companies will do whatever it takes to protect their profits. The reality is that GMOs are under attack, and opponents of GMOs are only growing in numbers. Companies who use GMOs in their products are going to be facing some very difficult times going forward.

    Live well,

    Written by Max Goldberg on October 26, 2012 @ 9:06 am

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