How You and ANH-USA Stood Up to Broken Laws, Three Big Lies, and $22 Million in Biotech LobbyingNovember 5, 2013
Over the past month, you and ANH-USA have worked hard to educate the people and fight Big Food and Big Biotech misinformation campaigns.
“No on 522,” the industry backed group leading the anti-GMO labeling push in Washington State, raised nearly $22 million to defeat the initiative, smashing Washington State’s previous fundraising record for any state-wide initiative campaign. Monsanto gave nearly $5.4 million to keep consumers from knowing what’s in the food they feed their families, while the Grocery Manufacturers Association gave $11 million (and got sued by the Washington State Attorney General for illegally collecting and spending $7 million of it—whoops!).
Washington State wasn’t our first battle of this kind: we were actively involved in California’s Prop 37 campaign, and knew from the start that Big Business would be slinging millions, as well as their three big, favorite lies. This is why we proactively launched a comprehensive, multi-platform public education campaign based on three separate independent studies:
- Lie #1: “GMO labeling is bad for the economy!” Dr. Joanna Shepherd-Bailey’s report detailed how NOT labeling GMOs actually hurts the economy; makes the food industry less competitive worldwide; has a negative impact on food exports, imports, and jobs; diminishes tax revenue; and has a ripple affect on other associated industries.
- Lie #2: “GMO labeling will raise grocery prices!” Another report by Dr. Shepherd-Bailey showed how GMO labeling will NOT increase food prices.
- Lie #3: “GMOs are better for farmers!” ANH-USA’s newest report, with research support and herbicide use data provided Dr. Chuck Benbrook of Washington State University debunked the myth that GMOs help farmers produce more and healthier crops—and uncovered the shocking agricultural, economic, environmental, and human health consequences of increased glyphosate (a major ingredient in GMO herbicide) use.
The report’s findings were so compelling that ANH-USA has released an excusive informative video on how glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant weeds can affect your family:
The report also found that:
- Increased planting of GMO alfalfa in Washington is likely to trigger an explosion of herbicide-resistant superweeds (much like antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”), forcing farmers to use ever-increasing amounts of glyphosate and other chemicals.
- Glyphosate seeps into our ecosystems, damaging biological diversity.
- GMO-contamination of conventional and organic crops will increase, harming farmers’ bottom line.
- Dietary exposure to glyphosate has skyrocketed in recent years—and the planting of GMOs will push it even higher. Based on 2011 USDA pesticide residue testing, glyphosate was found in 90.3% and 95.7% of 300 samples of soybeans.
- There is also concern about residues in drinking water and beverages from crop runoff and overspray.
- No government risk assessment has considered recent changes in where and how glyphosate is applied, nor the remarkably high residue levels present in soybeans and a portion of the nation’s wheat, barley, and edible bean crops.
- A number of studies—click here, here, here, here, and here—found that the current residue limit of glyphosate in the UK is unsafe, with potential to damage and kill human cells.
We’ll report the results on the I-522 vote as soon as they’re available. But no matter the outcome in Washington State, twenty-two other states are currently considering GMO labeling initiatives or legislation—which means we all need to do our part to debunk the “No GMO Labeling” camp’s lies and misleading arguments and make sure all voters have access to accurate, unbiased information.
Local and national media—including Mother Jones, The Olympian, The Inlander, and KCET—have spread the word about our campaign, as have ANH-USA readers like you. Thank you! But it’s still vital to show your support for your GMO labeling advocates in Washington by sharing our video or one of our infographics with friends and family. We have one for each report: the economic study, the cost of groceries study, and the environmental analysis.