The NO to Initiative 522 in Washington Committee has set the record for most money raised in any initiative campaign in Washington’s history. If you think spending more than $21.4 million dollars to deprive people of their right to know about what is in their food is horrendous (the astronomical amount that Big Ag and Biotech just spent to try to defeat the GMO-labeling bill currently before Washington) then just think about how much money they stand to gain with that ‘small’ investment.
The likes of Monsanto, DuPont, Pioneer, and other GMO supporters have even surpassed the $20.1 million record set by Costco-backed supporters in trying to support Initiative 1183 which privatized liquor in 2011.
Those who support the 522 Initiative – who want everyone to vote YES – have raised only $6.3 million, with a large portion of that money – over $1.3 million – coming from an organic soap maker in California. The problem isn’t that there is less ground-level support for 522, it’s that the people who want their food labeled don’t have pockets deep enough to compete with Big Ag companies who make in excess of $10 billion annually.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t still fight the big corporations who want to control our food supply and dictate to us what we can and cannot eat. We have much larger numbers in our sheer collective voices. There have been campaigns throughout the world – in Hungary in Mexico, in Hawaii, in Germany, in Russia, even. As long as we continue to put pressure on companies who want to stop us from knowing what is in our food, then we can still win.
Furthermore, these companies are really shooting themselves in the foot, to borrow a colloquial phrase from the South. If these GMO-supporters say no to the 522 Initiative, they will really just be fueling the outrage, and drawing attention to the fact that they care so little about our health as a nation. We can boycott every single company who supports these practices and stop buying their food. We can turn to organic farmers and support their personal efforts by purchasing food from them, starting co-ops or even beginning to grow our own organic food. We can also buy from companies who willingly post labels on their food that say ‘NO GMO!’
The fight is getting dirty, and definitely financed by filthy money, but the David and Goliath throw down will prove the ‘truth’ about GMO more fully.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.