Monday, 29 October 2012

Anti-GMO Labeling Campaign Accused of Fraudulent Claims

Written by 

Monsanto has been working overtime to salvage its increasingly poor image as the state of California is fighting to ensure that GMO (genetically modified organism) products are labeled. The California Right to Know campaign has fought on behalf of California’s proposition 37, set to be voted on by voters on Election Day, that mandates all GMO products be labeled. But Monsanto has fought to counter Proposition 37 through the "No on 37" campaign, which is now being accused of fabricating a quote by the FDA that implies the agency is opposed to GMO labeling.

As noted by Rodale News, genetically modified ingredients are “derived from lab-created plants that have been genetically modified to resist (and sometimes even create their own) toxic pesticides, withstand drought, or produce higher yields.”

California is the first state to allow voters, instead of lawmakers, to decided whether labels like “This product contains GMOs” will appear on food packages. Advocates of labels in California managed to garner 1 million signatures on a petition to get Proposition 37, also known as California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, on the November ballot.

Proposition 37 will require all foods that include genetically modified organisms to be labeled as such. It also prohibits foods with a GMO label to be labeled as “natural.”

The majority of the opposition to Proposition 37 has been funded by big chemical companies, most notably Monsanto, as well as food companies that sell organic foods, since by definition, organic foods would be prohibited from containing GMOs. The "No on 37" coalition has been collecting donations of $25 million dollars to defeat the law.

According to data collected by California’s Department of Campaign Finance, the largest donors to the "No on 37" campaign are Monsanto, at $4,208,000 and DuPont, at $4,025,200, since the ballot initiative was first approved in May. Others include Pepsico, Nestlé, Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, General Mills, J.M. Smucker, Ocean Spray, and Hormel Foods.

The quote in question is as follows: "The US Food and Drug Administration says a labeling policy like Prop 37 would be 'inherently misleading.' "

According to the California Right to Know campaign, the FDA never issued such a statement. Natural News reports, “The FDA never actually issued such a statement, of course, as the law prohibits the agency from taking an official position on the matter. But for its own malicious purposes, the No on 37 campaign decided to affix both the quote and the FDA seal on its campaign propaganda in an attempt to sway public opinion against the measure.”

Deliberate falsification of quote and logs for the purposes of campaigns is in violation of Section 506 of the U.S. Criminal Code, and as such, California’s Right to Know campaign has reported No to 37’s criminal act to the Department of Justice in a letter.

According to the letter:

The FDA has never taken a position on Proposition 37; it would be unlawful for the agency to do so, in the general election; and the quoted statement from FDA was made in an unrelated context more than twenty years ago.  In these circumstances, it appears that use of the agency’s seal on this mail piece is clearly fraudulent and the misuse of the seal in this way is a violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 506 and 1017 as well as applicable agency regulations.

The letter also takes issue with the authors of the pro-proposition 37 position provided with the official guide for voters. The statements are supposed to be submitted by registered California voters who submit proof that they are in fact the authors of the argument.

The letter explains, “The three identified authors of the “Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 37” include a Dr. Henry I. Miller, who is identified solely as “Founding Director, Office of Biotechnology of the Food & Drug Administration.”  But as noted in the letter, Dr. Miller does not in fact work for the FDA.

“The use of a false official federal title to make it appear that a high-ranking FDA official proposes the ballot proposition would seem to be a blatant violation of 18 U.S.C. §912, making it a federal offense to “assume[] or pretend[] to be an office or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer, thereof, and acts as such…..”

Natural News is not surprised by the fraud surrounding the "No on 37" campaign.

None of this is surprising since the primary forces fueling the No on 37 campaign include Monsanto and various other biotechnology and chemical giants with a sordid history of lies and deceit,” writes Natural News.

According to Rodale News, more than 75 percent of processed foods include genetically modified organisms, even as surveys show that 90 percent of Americans wish to see genetically modified foods labeled.

Photo: Bunch of red, green and yellow paprika pepper and radish on boxes in supermarket via Shutterstock

Please review our Comment Policy before posting a comment

Affiliates and Friends

Social Media