Tag Archives: CA propositions

Monsanto’s evil mind-control ray

Oh, you didn’t know they had one, did you? How little you know, o ignorant sheeple.
So prop 37 failed, something this blogger hails as a victory, but that’s definitely not ending the GMO debate. The pro-37 people are already mobilizing to say that they would have won, but Monsanto and Dow poured so much money into defeating it that Californians were duped into voting against their interests.
So much so, apparently, that their million dollar mind-control machine convinced newspapers everywhere to oppose this proposition that nobody in their right mind would oppose. I could make all sorts of jokes about that but I’ll let that go as an inconvenient truth. Rather, let’s look at the numbers, shall we? I’m not gonna do any heavy analysis here (see Nate Silver post), but this infographic is mildly informative: The Money behind California Propositions.
The link itself concludes “clearly … it is not always the most funded position that wins”. If money swayed people’s minds like this, then many of the other propositions would have turned out differently as well.
The numbers alone can lead to all sorts of interpretation though, so let’s take a more qualitative approach (again, see Nate Silver) to this. Yeah we saw a lot of ads against prop 37. To be honest though, I thought that ad campaign was really crappy. To tell people that a label would cost too much money is a horrible argument. If something is proven to cause cancer, I don’t mind paying a bit for a warning label.
No, what convinced me was two things – one, I’ve been reading about GMOs for a long time now, both the amount of testing that goes into them, and the promise they have. Two though, and this is the ironic and important one, is the arguments of the pro-37 crowd. Yes, I go on the pro-37 Facebook groups and debate them. Remember that 11 year old kid’s thing I posted? About GMOs being “icky”? Yeah, that’s pretty much all their arguments. GMOs are icky, unnatural, go against God, and so they must make all sorts of horrible mutations to our genes and fragile bodies. So much so, that we’ll keep citing fraudulent studies as fact, because we’re so sure that’s what causes cancer.
And that was the final nail in the coffin of this proposition for me. Oh sure, the more intellectual people avoided those arguments, citing more “sophisticated” arguments like bad agribusiness tactics that someone else can bring up in another blog. But some great editorials addressed those concerns, and it’s not what this proposition is about.
This law was about people convinced that GMOs are causing their health problems, and the labeling is an implicit license to sue anyone they think may be causing said health problems. It’s as about ridiculous a law as requiring people to put warning signs around wifi spots because some people fear that wifi signals give them brain tumors.
So please, drop the argument that this is Monsanto’s fault. Do they have money? Sure. Do they influence politics? Sure. But to say a few million dollars can brainwash an entire state, that just puts no respect in the intelligence of others. And it also lowers other people’s respect for your intelligence.

Why I’m voting NO on 37

I guess it’s my fault.
I’ve stayed silent on these things way too long. I’ve watched with helpless disgust while the politics around me shifted from the deeper social understanding of mass-movements into the isolated politics of drug legalization, spiritualism, and foodie-ism.
At a certain point though, I gotta call some people out, and my firm NO ON 37 stance is a good place to start. You might know that this is the Proposition that aims to require labeling of genetically modified food. The “right-to-know” act. My basic issue is this. We require labeling for things that have a scientifically demonstrated impact on our health. Genetic modification has no proven effect on our health, and the only demonstrations that may show a correlation are problematic studies by people with demonstrated political leanings.
I could stop there. But it goes so much deeper than this for me, it’s a deep annoyance with this “paranoid mother” social milieu that’s pushing this stuff. I’ve been watching the GMO debate for a while. And it’s full of rhetoric. I basically agree with this guy:

Meanwhile, the anti-GMO argument goes more like “it’s icky” as demonstrated by this well-rehearsed 13-year old:

And it doesn’t end there. It’s one kid after another paraded in front of the camera, begging on behalf of their paranoid mothers. And it goes further. It’s one conflation after another. Monsanto opposes it. GMO farming is big agribusiness which is bad for the environment. And a bunch of other reasons I really can’t think of nor care to right now.
Thing is, people aren’t opposed to curbing Monsanto’s power, or making big agribusiness more sensitive to the environment. But none of those things have anything to do with labeling GMOs.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll just say this:
Look, you have a right to know what’s in your food, it’s true. You have a right to buy gluten-free organic non-GMO vegan food produced in ground plowed by unicorns under a full-moon in mid-april and irrigated with Fijian artesian water. Work with the farmers you like to develop some trusted labeling system so you can live your perfect little ultra-food lifestyle.
But none of these things have any demonstrated effect on our health. Food is food. Your body grinds it up, breaks it down, and rebuilds it. It doesn’t matter what the original form was. Everything else is in your head, as far as the rest of the world and I are concerned. Leave the rest of us out of your games, don’t force the rest of us to to deal with your fantastic understanding of food.