On a recent episode of the TV show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Gary Hirshberg, the founder of Stonyfield Farms, the organic yogurt company, talked with Bill Maher about the subject of GMOs – genetically modified organisms, also known as genetically engineered foods.
Besides talking about the environmental and health dangers of GMOs and the evil and diabolical companies, such as Monsanto, that create these Frankenfoods, Hirshberg, who has started an organization called Just Label It!, also talked about the California ballot initiative that’s on the ballot this Election Day, known as Proposition 37.
Proposition 37 is a simple law: it states that if a food contains a GMO product, the label of that food should state that fact. It’s not that radical a proposal, and it would bring California in line with 50 other countries – all of Europe, Russia and China are just some of the 50 countries – around the world that label these foods.
But the opposition to Proposition 37 does not want to see this become law, and is outspending the proponents of the law by a 10 – 1 margin.
Hirshberg’s organization, Just Label It!, has this to say about genetically engineered foods:
“Genetically engineered crops have been credited with an increase of 383 million pounds of herbicide use in the U.S. over the first 13 years of commercial use (1996- 2008). In August of 2011, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that glyphosate (the active ingredient in the herbicide “Roundup”) is now a common component of the air and rain in the Midwest during the spring and summer.
As a direct result of widespread use of genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops, populations of weeds (“superweeds”) have developed resistance to herbicides and are now present in 26 states. Not surprisingly, farmers have increasingly needed to revert to using older and more toxic herbicides like dicamba and 2,4-D (one of the ingredients in the Vietnam War era defoliant Agent Orange). These herbicides are known to cause reproductive problems, birth defects, and increased risk of cancer.”
And, according to the Non-GMO Project:
“Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.”
Nine GE Crops in the U.S.:
- Sugar Beets
- Hawaiian Papaya
- Yellow Crookneck Squash