It is worth noting that the most persuasive voices in the struggle to protect our bodies, families, and planet from the potential dangers of genetically modified food are often mothers who make health hazards front and center in their reporting. The tireless food safety blogger and author Robyn O'Brien, who writes the "Inspired Bites" blog for Prevention, regularly ties GMO's to health issues, such as this report on a major study released in July. At the more radical end of the activist spectrum is Orange County mom Zen Honeycutt, who started Moms Across America, which organized 172 anti-GMO parades in 44 states. Her latest blog post a few days ago expressed outrage, not restraint, over the health implications of GM food: "Our Sick Children are Collateral Damage in War for Power."
The self-defeating mythology among professional activists against "going negative" is made worse by a refusal, on the part of many activists, to criticize "people who worked so hard" (and spent so much donated money) on the campaigns. The desire to provide a positive spin on the results of the two failed initiatives to label GMO's ignores the need to learn from the mistake of avoiding consumer health concerns, presumably because organizers want to encourage activists to "stick with it" next time.
Next time is already underway in both Colorado and Oregon, where groups are working to get labeling measures on state ballots. It is not reassuring to note that they are calling their efforts Oregon Right to Know, and Right to Know Colorado.
It's time to shift tactics and follow the "lead with the negative" example that Monsanto's much better paid experts have set. Perhaps for the next election season, campaign organizers will wake up to reality. If they could re-orient the campaigns to create "Right to Safe Food"-focused initiatives, fewer voters would be swayed by Monsanto-funded deceptive ads.
Like millions of parents and activists who oppose genetically modified food, I feel that the stakes are very high in this battle the safety of our world's food supply. If we are to win it, we are going to have to fight tougher. And smarter.