Friday, February 22, 2013

Own it, don't hide it: The pro-GMO backlash |

Own it, don't hide it: The pro-GMO backlash |

Big Food and Big Chem should take a lesson from Richard Nixon and Al Capone: It’s not the crime that’ll get you, it’s the cover-up. Last year Monsanto, DuPont, Pepsico and their brethren spent $45.6 million — more than five times what proponents spent — to defeat California’s Intitiative 37, which would have required that genetically engineered foods be labeled.

They’ll dig deep again to oppose Washington’s largely similar I-522, which last month qualified for the November ballot. The Northwest Food Processors Association declared its opposition even before I-522’s petition signatures were certified.

The opponents will roll out the same claims that, loudly amplified, worked in California: Disclosing that foods contain GMOs will drive up prices. It will spawn costly new regulations and bureaucracy. The industry will emphasize the supposedly baleful effects of labeling on small and midsize local businesses while keeping the big backers in the background. Doubtless, they'll trot out some weathered family farmer who will decry GMO disclosure as the worst thing since locust plagues and the Dust Bowl.

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