WA I-522 Defeated: Back to the Grass Roots

Washington voters, clearly influenced by a last minute influx of money from Big Food and Big Ag, defeated Initiative 522, which would have required retail products made from or containing genetically modified ingredients be labeled with the information.

Yess I522Yes, we need GMO education but we need it now most strongly at the grass roots level in the home and in our local communities. Major money-driven top-down movements forget that – with food – people speak most directly from their eating habits and culture.

It’s like alcohol. Teachers can say all they want about healthy moderation but if a child grows up in a bar, the message is going to become confused. Most of our low-income working people are now living in a food “tavern” of fast food, and idealistic movements won’t change their eating habits. And the most conspicuous use of GMOs today is in junk food and cheap food items.

Where would GMO labeling cause the most harm to the corporate food industry? Everyone knows organics are being identified with the upper crust. Wealthy folks already have access to the healthiest food with no GMOs. We’re working at GoodFood World with everything we have to change that – to make sure everyone has access to good healthy food.

As long as our federal government allows unregulated cheap food to pour into this country and destroy the competitive price of small local growers; subsidizes GMOs and industrial agriculture; dominates the associated research in our universities; and allows a Farm Bill to stall and there are no provisions for local education and small indigenous farming and food businesses; then we are going to have a top-driven totalitarian food regime that enslaves us all.

Top-down supported movements like those behind Initiative 522 have their purpose but what we need to make this work is an honest grass-roots effort through genuine local education. That starts with reforming diet and nutrition with individuals, in the home, in the neighborhood – up to the city, county, and state levels.

No one really wants the federal government telling people how to eat – what we want is an honest federal food policy that supports a healthy food system at home and empowers local people to bring it about.

Big NGOs are just big businesses and it has become a wasteful competition of titans in Washington using up valuable funds that could support local food education, small minority food businesses, and strong local food policy.

Next time we go after GMOs, let’s get the message right: a good food system starts with good eating habits and that is an individual learning occupation.

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