Prop 37, the California initiative that would mandate the labeling of GM foods, appears to have failed. The initial results show that a whopping 47% of California registered voters were in favor of this measure while 53% voted no.
Have Biotech and Big Grocery won? HARDLY!
7 reason why we are STILL winning!
#1 – The first and most important reason Prop 37 has not failed is because, well, 3.3 million votes remain uncounted! What?! Saturday I attended the Grand Opening of Boise’s first and only Seed Library. Countless people came to me and said with disappointment, “I can’t believe Prop 37 didn’t pass.” My response? We actually don’t know if it didn’t pass.
Many of the most “liberal” and food conscious counties in California remain uncounted. Once counted, this could sway the direction of Prop 37 and lead us to victory. These counties have until December 4th to turn in their results. Let’s not resort to defeat until we have a FINAL result. (The Organic Consumer Association is monitoring the vote count and will take action if there is any suspicions about voting fraud.)
#2 – California Right to Know and Yes on Prop 37 raised $7.3 million in support of GM labeling. When you put into perspective that No on Prop 37 spent $45 million to defeat this initiative it makes you realize just how much everyone’s hard work really paid off. What would the “initial” results have looked like if Yes on Prop 37 had raised $45 million? It would have been a blow out! This my friends, is the power of grassroots! This is the power of TRUTH! And this is NOT defeat.
#3 – The entire country united for this cause, including many Idahoans who attended a screening of Genetic Roulette and helped to raise $400 for the Yes on Prop 37 campaign. States from the East and West did their part in raising GMO awareness and making contributions to this campaign by donating and phone banking. If only there was a way to count how many people heard the term GMO for the first time just because of this initiative. So, not only did the nation unite, but Prop 37 opened the eyes of countless individuals who will take into consideration what they are putting in their mouths. Big win here!
#4 – During the Yes on Prop 37 campaign a coalition of 23 states (and counting) was formed. This coalition is dedicated to providing support for each state that plans to pursue a legislative measure or ballot initiative (like Idaho plans to do). We have been sharing ideas, making calls to action, and helping to build the numbers in each state. I’d like to see Monsanto drop $8 million in 23 states at one time when each state decides to roll out their own labeling legislation. The labeling initiative in California was critical to the formation of this coalition…..Winning!
#5 - Two nationwide campaigns have been launched in lieu of Prop 37. The first is GMO Inside, a campaign to “show corporations that people will not complacently serve as lab rats for the testing of genetically engineered foods.” And to “ultimately boycott the companies that want to keep us from knowing what’s in our food. Hitting their bottom line is the only way we can collectively make a significant change to our food system without legislation.”
The second is the Know GMO Project, a campaign that will “collectively create a GMO free society” by targeting local food producers to source non-GMO ingredients and by doing so in a positive manner. Many food producers, like many consumers, are completely unaware of GMOs. Many businesses don’t even know that they are sourcing GM ingredients. “By targeting “mid-level” food producers to enact these non-GMO changes, we can push GMOs off the market without necessarily having to purse labeling laws.” The Know GMO Project has launched phase 1 of 3 of their campaign and we are encouraged to use their non-GMO meme generator to spread awareness on social media sites.
These campaigns will continue the work of Prop 37 and contribute to the tipping point that will push GMOs off our plates and our consumer markets.
#6 – As you might have heard after viewing Genetic Roulette, the sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products have increased by 217% in just ONE year! Consumers have spoken and as of now 1.2 million signatures have been submitted to the FDA, through the Just Label It campaign, demanding that GMOs be labeled. I don’t think I have to tell you, it’s only a matter of time before we have GMO labeling in some way or another.
#7 – Even if Prop 37′s “final” results prove to not be enough for a victory, the “Right to Know” movement will not stop. Prop 37 was the start of something BIG and this initiative is proof that we cannot be bought and we cannot be broken. The truth will prevail and our consumer rights will be restored. The non-GMO movement is a holistic movement. It’s about preserving what is sacred. It’s about bringing communities together. It’s about nourishing our loved ones. And it’s about leaving a legacy for our future. We have our war paint on and what determined warriors we are! Is this battle easy? No. If it was, would it be worth fighting for?
As Woodrow Wilson said, “The history of liberty, is a history of resistance.” We are the resistance and history will be made, one way or another.
My heart goes out to everyone for their passion and hard work on Yes on Prop 37. Nothing is more fulfilling than being part of this movement and bringing our communities together. I thank each and everyone of you!
Here’s to being GMO free!
GMO Free Idaho, Co-Founder