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Whoa! Did you see that? No one seems to notice yet that we're winning the battle against genetically modified foods!
Over the last few years voters in Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and California created unsuccessful ballot initiatives to mandate labeling of GMOs. The Big Grocery and Big Chemical lobbies outspent the grassroots by tens of millions of dollars, were unconstrained by either the truth or ethics, and showed up on the winning side of each election. That left us on the losing side.
We mistakenly thought we'd lost the battle and the GMO lobby mistakenly thought they'd won. But we didn't, and they didn't. It's a sure bet that the Monsanto knows it, too, although they fight on.
Two things happened during the elections.
One, the referendums, the endless pro-GMO commercials, and the enormous sums spent to defeat something that seemed like a very reasonable idea, made the national news and seemed to raise consciousness and concern across the country and among many who might not have otherwise been paying attention.
Two, some grassroots businesses decided that giving their customers the non-GMO they demanded could be a profitable and winning proposition. How right they were. There is currently such a demand for organic foods, which are non-GMO by definition, that American farms can't keep up. At least not yet. We are now importing organics from abroad to fill the demand.
Organic foods, which result in non-GMOs without any fight over labeling, is making a major appearance at grocery store chains like Kroger whose commitment to giving consumers the food they want with fewer surprises has quickly expanded. Kroger, an early convert to organics, has become the talk of the industry as its organic selection, variety and profitability jumps. As the selection and variety of organics has improved, prices have fallen. As prices fall, more consumers show up at the cash register.
Kroger is simply the leader of the bandwagon. Other grocery chains will follow.
Chipotle, the enormously popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant, announced this week that it is in the process of eliminating all genetically modified ingredients from its stores.
Trader Joes and others are rejecting genetically modified salmon before the FDA has a chance to approve it. A number of other modified fish are in Big Chemical's pipeline but will only appear if Monsanto and others turn a blind eye to the obvious consumer disdain.
Whole Foods is requiring complete labeling including all foods with GMOs.
Vermont passed a GMO labeling law and is now spending a small fortune fighting Big Business which is spending a bigger fortune to defeat the will of the voters. Whether Vermont gets to keep its law or not, the slow learners at Monsanto are shooting themselves in the foot once again.
Several of the Hawaiian Islands became sufficiently disgusted with GMO pollution and banned the use of genetically modified seeds. Monsanto and other Big Chemical and Big Agra predators are now, once again, fighting the popular will in court.
The consumer's tsunami in favor of organic and against genetically modified food continues, despite the deep desire of those who want to control our diet for their own benefit. The GMO industry has been prevented from flooding other countries with genetically contaminated food and they are learning that they can't do it here either. But only because of our resistance.
One of the real reasons Monsanto and friends are so opposed to labeling is at least partly because they are afraid to have us find out how ubiquitous GMOs are. Almost every processed food in the grocery store is made with poorly tested Round-Up resistant soybeans, corn, canola or sugar beets. As one Monsanto executive famously said, using GMO labels would be like putting a skull and crossbones on a package.
Organic food sales increased from $6 million dollars in 2000 to $39 million in 2014, a development for which Monsanto certainly deserves our thanks.
Monsanto's jig is almost up. We are winning!