Vote Yes On Measure B
By Karen Nakamura
Congratulations are in order for GMO Free Marin for getting Measure B, the ban on genetically engineered organisms in Marin, on the November ballot. Get out and vote.
The latest blurb from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), (organicconsumers.org.) out of Minnesota and connected to GMO Free Marin brings out the fact that organic foods are at a crossroads. No matter the outcome of the presidential election, millions of Americans from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Mississippi Bayous are eating and demanding more and more organic foods. They are saying no to the junk foods that have dominated their diets for the past fifty years. Farmers from Arizona to North Carolina are cutting their pesticide use either out of conviction or a need to sell their products. Europe and parts of Asia are less than accepting of American genetically altered foods.
According to the OCA. "In terms of organic food, demand is growing so fast that most grocery items sold in North American and European supermarkets will likely be labeled 'organic' within 20 years." The growth of the organic food and holistic health sector suggest millions of consumers are starting to realize their family's health is directly related to what they consume, breathe, wear or apply to their skin.
The question that has arisen recently is how "organic" will these products actually be? Already genetically engineered crops such as corn, cotton, and soybeans, are contaminating fields and seed stocks of organic and traditional farmers. Big corporations are lining up to buy out organic companies and retail outlets and work with government bureaucrats to lower organic standards.
"Congress doles out $25 billion a year to subsidize biotech and industrial agriculture, while family farmers, who desperately need help to convert to organic and sustainable practices, are getting next to nothing," says OCA. "Most activists realize that global treaties such as NAFTA and the WTO are designed to help biotech and industrial agriculture, while driving two billion farmers and rural villagers from around the world off the land and into urban slums.
"We need to meet up and move together, as a massive organic consumer bloc and body politic, and change course. We need to raise significant funds and raise mass consciousness. We need to reward the farmers, the organic companies, and the politicians who are doing the 'right thing.'"
They urge supporting products and businesses established on Fair Trade and sustainable agriculture, "putting your money where your mouth is," in other words. And they urge us to vote in November to ban GMO in Marin.