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I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was Sunday morning, when I received a message from Vani Hari, offoodbabe.com, inviting me to join her and Living Maxwell’s fundraiser here in NYC for proposition 37. Not only did I have a great, 100% organic meal and meet two inspiring food activists who have largely influenced my blogging, but I also gained immensely important information about an important issue surrounding today’s food policy.
Proposition 37 is a current initiative taking place in California towards labeling genetically modified foods, which have been proven to reduce fertility, decrease immune functioning, and harm the surrounding ecosphere. The people of California vote on this proposition in November, and the vote will do more than change policy locally. Large food companies are unlikely to create certain labels specific to California— if the law passes there, we likely will see more labeling NATIONWIDE. I’ve already written about the difficulties of this proposition—the insane amount of money that Monsanto, PepsiCo, Kashi, and other food companies have put against it and the unfavorable precedent in Vermont. However, last night I learned about all the factors working in our favor, and how you can help push this country towards labeling GMO’s. Here are some key positives I heard at last night’s event:
Fifteen States Have Similar Initiatives
Even if the law in California doesn’t pass (which let’s hope we don’t see happen!) fifteen other states, including Connecticut, Vermont, and New Jersey are undergoing similar battles. In addition to getting involved with the campaign in California, you can contribute your time and energy by volunteering with campaigns in these states. And the head of Connecticut’s campaign, attorney and activist Tara Cook-Littman, announced that she is looking for someone to head New York’s campaign—could it be you?
Me with Vani Hari and Living Maxwell. Such an honor to meet these two–they are even more inspiring in person than they are in writing!
Connecticut Has Received Legal Backing
If you read my previous blog on proposition 37 and food labeling, you remember that I believe that the biggest hurdle to the labeling law is not its passage, but rather its ability to withstand lawsuits in light of unfavorable legal precedent in Vermont that has held labeling laws to violate the first amendment. However, Connecticut has received the backing of its state Attorney General, who has vowed to defend the law if passed and faced with legal action. This particularly sticks out to me because it parallels the type of support that anti-tobacco advocates received in 1994, when the Mississippi attorney general was the first to go up against the tobacco industry for the healthcare costs to the state. While that case involved medical payments, not labeling, it succeeded on the basis of a similar premise—if your product causes medical harm to state constituents, it is your responsibility create a remedy.
Some Amazing Companies Are Committed to the Cause
I was able to get familiar with some of the companies that are donating money in favor of proposition 37. These are companies who—despite the cost-benefits of producing genetically engineered foods—have committed to staying organic and to promoting policies that do the same. In addition, they taste delicious. Present at the fundraiser were representatives from the blueprint cleanse, gnosis chocolate ,and Kur Raw Superfoods , among others. I was able to chat with the CEO’s of Kur Raw, who are truly amazing people who have dedicated their time and money to supporting this cause. The restaurant hosting the event,GustOrganics, is also an amazing venue to support–not only because it is 100% certified organic, but also because the food is absolutely delicious!
It seems that the more people get involved, the more fruitful this campaign will be. And if the crowd at last night’s event gave any indication of the campaign’s involvement, we’re definitely in luck. Thanks Food Babe and Living Maxwell for making this happen!
Gnosis raw chocolate with goji berries. They gave out samples for dessert at the end of the event. So delicious!