Farm Press Blog

Conceding to Prop 37 anti-science agenda not acceptable

  • Why wouldn't Monsanto and others support anti-Propositon 37 effort? Ludicrous ballot initiative amazingly has voter support. Wake up voters!

Yes, Monsanto ponied up $4.2 million to defeat Proposition 37, the anti-science, anti-food initiative on the November California ballot.

Ditto for DuPont’s $1.3 million; Dow AgroSciences’ $1.2 million and the list goes on. What do you expect them to do? Concede to a boatload of self-serving socialists out of touch with reality?

Stacy Malkan, media director for the California Right to Know campaign, calls Proposition 37 "an epic food fight between the pesticide companies and consumers who want to know what's in their food."

Let’s end this fight right now. 100 percent of what we eat is genetically modified, either through conventional breeding or biotechology. As far as I can tell, no one has become ill or died from eating genetically modified food.

Why go to the ballot box? Because an ambulance chasing attorney and a pack of snake oil companies want to line their own pockets. And there’s the likes of Mercola Health Resources run by Chicago osteopath and self-styled alternative medicine apostle Joseph Mercola, who promotes his sketchy supplements through his online health newsletter. Mercola has donated $800,000 to the campaign, according to Ronald Bailey of

Despite that and all the scientific evidence to the contrary, the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University School of Public Policy report that an amazing 65 percent of California’s voters support Proposition 37. Common sense has left California.

You don’t have to look further than another infamous ballot initiative, Proposition 215 (the Compassionate Use Act of 1996) to validate that. California voters legalized marijuana for medical uses with that fine proposition. It gave drug cartels a license to plant marijuana throughout California for sale nationwide. It is a law enforcement nightmare that has prompted gunfights and killings and has put California law in direct conflict with federal statutes.

(For more, see: California’s growing marijuana business impacting agriculture)

"Ninety-five percent” of these medical marijuana farms “are criminal operations," said Tulare County, Calif., sheriff's Lt. Tom Sigley in a recent Fresno Bee article. "I have yet to see a legitimate caregiver." The same type of activist who supported the marijuana initiative is behind Proposition 37.

The anti-Proposition 37 campaign is fighting back and is winning editorial support from many newspapers. The defeat-Proposition 37 strategy is to focus on a flawed law written by a shifty lawyer that will raise food prices and create marketing chaos.

However, the strategy is not what I call junkyard dog stuff. Hope it works. Bailey takes the junkyard dog approach at

One of the most galling things in the Proposition 37 propaganda is the portrayal of Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgroScience and others as ominous megacorporations out to destroy the world.

These corporations employ thousands of people: Monsanto 23,000; DuPont 60,000; and Dow AgroSciences 6,700. When the leader of the Proposition 37 band of marauders talks about “giant pesticide and food companies being afraid of the mothers and grandmothers who want the right to know what’s in our food,” they are talking about mothers, grandmothers, moms and dads who work for these corporations. I cannot imagine these moms, dads, etc. wanting to destroy their families for a paycheck.

I want to collectively shake each California voter with a “Wake up!” Discern what you read in today’s newspapers and hear from rip-and-read television anchors. Use a little common sense.

Discuss this Blog Entry 21

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

This article is pure crap. How can you compare people wanting to know whats in and going on with their food with making marjuana legal? How dare you say theres no common sense in California. If you dont like it get the hell out. Marajuan crops are taken over by criminals that is ludicrus and if you have done any of your research crime has gone down significantly in areas where there are medicinal marajuana shops. I for one want to know whats up with my food, are there loop holes yes there always is, why they want it for soy milk and not dairy milk i dont understand myself but I think labling these foods is a good start. Are you aware by the way that europe and asia has been labling their GM foods for years already...hmm interesting I gues you think they are all sensless too.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

The issue is NOT that GM foods have not killed anyone yet and that prop-37 supporters are afraid they will... the issue is that the human health effects have not been rigorously studied. And the even bigger issue is that the human health effects of the pesticides used on the GM crops HAVE been tested, and have been shown to be very dangerous (2,4-D anyone??). The continued use of GM crops creates the need for more and more pesticides and herbicides as bugs and weeds become resistant to our over-use.

The companies and organizations behind the effort to smash this sensible and reasonable legislation have already spent over $25 million dollars to do so... money that they could easily put toward simply changing the labels on their packaging. It's a political issue for them, not a practical issue. Whereas for everyone fighting for the right to know, it's a very practical and personal health issue that the companies would be smart to listen to. It's about how the entire system works, and all of the components go into whether or not GM foods are safe. The plain truth is, we just don't know. They've only been in use for fifteen years, and carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting properties usually take a generation or two to manifest themselves. Hope you're ready for that.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Once I saw the hilarious buzzwords "socialist" "ambulance chasing attorneys" and "snake oil companies" I knew you had no real argument to make.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Study shows GMOs cause hepatorenal toxicity:

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

LOL. Seralini. Wow, we are impressed you can scour the blogosphere for fake studies.

Here are real, independent studies showing GM safety:

Nicole Ybarrondo (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

This is a terrible biased article with very little factual support. Trying to compare supporters of prop 37 to supporters of illegal marijuana growers?! People simply have the right to know what is in the food they are eating. Bottom line. If all companies had to provide 100% truth in labeling we wouldn't be plastering our bodies with know carcinogens and toxic ingredients from compaines like Suave, Johnson & Johnson, and even so-called "natural" brands. We need to be fully aware of what is in our food products, personal care products, and cleaning products. They don't want to disclose this because people are becoming more concerned with the impacts we have on our planet, and the way GMOs are produced has a terrible impact.

SRL (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

As a scientist, I would like you to provide information that this proposition is anti-science. I have probably done a much more thorough investigation of GM crops than you and have come to the following conclusions:

True, we cannot specifically say that the ingestion of GM food has harmed people. However, the list of scientific "breakthroughs" that ultimately have been removed from the market because of their harm to humans is rather long. Thalidomide and 2,4-dinitrophenol come to mind very quickly. Whether or not there will be adverse health effects from GM foods has yet to be determined.

What we can point to as scientifically definitive are some of the environmental issues raised by GM crops. The specific example I will cite is the emergence of superweeds as a direct result of the overuse of glyphosate (RoundUp). The overuse occurred only in tandem with the introduction of RoundUp Ready crops.

GM crops were unleashed on the environment without the proper scientific studies to conclude that they were safe. Many scientists who follow this issue will agree that not enough work was done in highly controlled settings before allowing GM crops to be planted in open fields.

The one other statement I will question is "100 percent of what we eat is genetically modified." This statement is simply meant to confuse the issue regarding selection (what has been done for thousands of years to give us the crops that we grow today) versus genetic modification which involves moving genes from one organism to another. Selection is a natural process where environmental factors (including humans) influence what plants ultimately survive. Selection has been occurring for millions of years. Laboratory based genetic modification of plants has not even been occurring for three decades yet and it has already made an incredible foothold on our landscape.

So in conclusion, if you are going to start an article with the word "science" in the first sentence, please be scientific about your argument and stop trying to simply scare people into agreement with your poorly articulated agenda.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

What a concept. Follow the science. I mean the real science, not the pixie dust crap Prop 37 seems to follow. I recommend that the first two posters do that. Leave California, my birthplace? Already did that. Enjoy your failing and bankrupt State. The place is falling apart and you want to worry about High Speed Trains to nowhere and GM Foods? What a pair of loons.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

first of all as was stated in the article all foods have been genetically modified for decades. Hybrid corn goes way back. Plants are constantly evolving. These little buzzwords get the people all riled up but there is little behind them. These other posters are laughable. One makes it sound as if 2-4-D is present only in GM crops. Lol. Look, people it is the law you have to control weeds on your property, people spray pesticides, Sometimes the weather, run off, misapplication results in a field getting more than normal. It happens. But it is like saying you cannot drive a car because of the toxins released on the road by vehicles. Think about it, your cabin air filter in your car is not a gas mask. Those toxic fumes are sucked in and are present inside every car. All these feel good proposals do nothing except line the pockets of lawyers. People have good intentions but the results are usually the opposite of what they set out to do. That is where the comparison to medical marijuana comes in. Good intentions in practice just opened the door for more crime. And the poster who claimed the opposite is a flat our liar. Crime in the MM shops alone is significant. They rarely report but the police have said when they do they underreport the amount. they claim 10 thousand was stolen and when the police search they find money stored literally in garbage cans because there is hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. And most shops owned by Asian gangs.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

I truly love to watch the Luddites come out in full force whenever a farm press has an article about GMOs. Its really amusing.

Sarah (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

I believe this blog post to be part of the millions of dollars being spent on a disinformation campaign. This is disinformation. False info will appear to come from bloggers and independents -- those without a stake. Also, there is a big difference between natural genetic modifications that happen everyday vs. those done in the lab for the sole purpose of increasing yield by killing insects and other animals that naturally eat that yield. Also, Prop 37 will not force companies to remove GMO from their food lines. It will only force companies to put a little label right next to "Tony the Tiger" saying that this food is made with GMO ingredients. Then consumers are informed and can make their own decisions. When consumers make informed decisions the invisible hand of supply and demand will sway it whatever direction consumers determine. It's fair, and it's right.

Farmerp (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

I am amazed that you call those of us supporting prop 37 self serving socialists! Its laughable. I am a small farmer with some very conservative views and family values and a few more liberal. I want the choice of knowing whats in my food. I do that by growing my own. Produce, milk, meat, eggs. Unfortunately, most people don't have that opportunity. I work my tail off to provide for my family and the 18 or so other families who want this healthful food. All should be given the choice. Whats the matter? Are you afraid given the choice, folks will choose something other than your toxic blends?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

As a Californian my natural state is to be offended; that said, this article doesn't really surprise me. That an aged advocate with vested interests in industrial agricultural would call me a socialist for wanting to know what kind of food I'm actually eating, or try to shore up a completely arbitrary comparison between GMO labeling and The Devil Weed with some yokel sheriff lieutenant's unverified "statistics" (95% of MJ crops are illegal) doesn't surprise me. The fact that Mr. Cline is recipient of the California Association of Pest Control Advisers' (CAPCA) Outstanding Contribution to California Agriculture doesn't surprise me. The fact that he defends the people who put bread on his table by attacking concerned citizens doesn't surprise me. I mean, what do I know, I'm just some pinko hippy. Stellar journalism sir.

on Aug 23, 2012

GMO corn started in 1923. It has been used ever since. That box of cornflakes you ate in the 60's with Tony the Tiger was all GMO corn! GMO is something that people throw around to scare other people. My family has a farm in Iowa and i live in Southern California. I am stunned out how much garbage comes out of peoples mouths out here. They know nothing, when you start talking to them it becomes painfully obvious that they are merely repeating what someone has told them to say. It does not just end with farming thou. The liberal mind makes up "facts" constantly. Until i moved to Hollywood i never new how many products contain cow urine. Or that George W Bush could not read so they put hieroglyphics on the teleprompter. These are things i was told by people with college degrees and high ranking jobs in the entertainment industry. They were absolutely serious. Just sad that there is so much ignorance but even sadder that the ignorant spread such lies.

on Aug 23, 2012

and to the Anonymous post claiming to be a scientist involved in many gmo studies why not post a link or 2?
And in addition 2 4 D is present because it is in the ground. Everywhere. Farmers are required to kill the weeds and 2 4 D has left residue. All pesticides leave residue. This reminds me of the studies in high school science where you put dentures in a glass with coca cola and left it for days. Wow how bad is coca cola? As one student said
"Yes but i do not gargle with coke"

Larry McHargue (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

Much of the argumentation against Proposition 37 reminds me of that used against vaccines. Those objections were fallacious. Opposition to the application of biotechnology is generated from a society that is rich compared to the much of the world. The basic truth is that we cannot feed the world's population in the decades to come without using genetically modified organisms. The Agricultural Research Service, universities, the supposedly "evil" corporations that engage in research, and entrepreneurs all have contributions to make to increase productivity. It has to be done in order for productivity to make substantial gains on essentially the same area of available arable land in the world. A strict reading of the Proposition 37 will be a bonanza for legal proceedings that will have an effect of discouraging both employment and innovation. As for the condition of California, I have too many friends who have already left for other states, and I know more who are considering it. Proposition 37 is just another step in what seems to be the increasing rate of deterioration in California.

LA DEVO (not verified)
on Aug 25, 2012

2nd article I've read by Harry Cline, and the words he uses to describe consumers is very descriptive of his writing. "self-serving" "socialist" "out of touch with reality" I won't waste my time reading any more articles written by such a "marauder" of “giant pesticide and food companies." It's a shame that you have been writing for 35 years and are so closed minded, and lacking in being an investigative reporter. People don't want to read your OPINION, they want fair reporting. Get a grip Harry!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 31, 2012

This is a's the definition: A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure that is exactly what brings the anti-GMO extremist back to Cline's articles every single time...that is, the fact that you so greatly disagree with his OPINION on the issue (which he chooses to support with factual evidence).

on Aug 27, 2012

Concerning the FDA’s assurance of GMO safety is a very appalling joke on the American public. Monsanto, with other industry executives, are standing so close to the FDA that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other. Such executives at all levels have cycled in and out of responsible FDA positions for decades now, circumventing scientific concerns at the FDA itself to approve harmful GMO food products. Example: Calgene’s FlavrSavr tomato, during approval testing even rodents refused to eat the tomatoes compelling the rats to be force fed the tomato through gastric tubes. Several developed stomach lesions; seven of the forty died within two weeks. The FDA approved the tomato with no further analysis! Your FDA in action people!
Note also the rising food allergies, asthma and autism since GMOs have been unleashed on the American people. There is no labeling of GMOs in the USA due solely to media intimidation of LA Times, NY Times, WSJ, USA Today and the list goes on....why? Do you fear the truth? Farmers who do not use Gm seed and whose fields have become contaninated by GMOs have lost their livelihood due to lawsuits from such types as Monsanto who also brought us Agent Orange and PCBs.
The pesticide Bt from GM corn has feen found in the bloodstream of women and fetuses....such pesticides are linked to Autism.
Yes, it will be some time, time when many will suffer and never know the source of their demise, but Monsanto and others will suffer the fate of the tobacco companies after much litigation, suits, appeals and finally truthful studies documenting the truth. Are such industry types also willing to ignore such harmful effects on their own loved ones?!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 28, 2012

We use the UN FAO definition of genetically engineered which specifies that genes are inserted into chromosome using a laboratory process. All talk of natural breeding techniques being equivalent to genetic engineering is deliberately misleading - an attempt to put up a smoke screen to avoid the real issue. We have the right to know what is in our food. To unpack the deception and intentional misreading of the scientific studies on GMOs see Myths and Truths report at

Anonymous (not verified)
on Oct 16, 2012

I realize that this article is the personal opinion of it's writer but I hope that it was written in jest because it was designed to be inflamatory and insulting to those who want their food labeled if it has GMO ingredients. I am one of those and I won't apologize for my own personal stance on this matter. I am a person who loves science and who has kept abreast of new technologies. For me it is a personal choice not to eat GMO's and I go out of my way to buy natural products, only to find out later that it contained GMO's. To me this is false advertising;t GMO manipulation is anything but natural. Nature does not splice unrelated species into plants and the most worrisome of this activity are the viruses and bacteria that are used. With the exception of a rare mutation, most living creatures derive their genetic makeup from their parents, whether it be a plant or an animal. Bacteria and viruses can horizontially transmit their genetic material, meaning that they only need to be in contact with a host to swap genetic material. This has been proven with GMO's, when they found GMO genetic markers when scientists did a gut fauna research study on humans living in the U.K. where GMO's had been banned. And as one person has already commented a Canadian research study has found that GMO's have transmitted from mother to unborn child. It has not been proven or disproven if they can also pass through the blood/brain barrier as well.
The other concern is that anything can be spliced into our food and we won't even know it. Already we are literally eating insecticides; we use to be able to wash the residue off. Tell me why is there research being done on corn genectically spliced with a natural human spermicide by the California biotech company, Epicyte? Who is meant to eat this corn?

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