Perspectives on Prop 37 (Plus a New GMO-Free Zone in US)
First of all, let’s celebrate with San Juan County, Washington, for passing its GMO-Free County initiative. Growing GMOs in the San Juan Islands will shortly be illegal. Thanks to all the great volunteers (and the 60% of the voters) who made that possible. I had the great pleasure of doing a speaking tour on three of the islands in September; their campaign was truly an inspiration. Well done San Juan County!
Prop 37 California’s Prop 37 campaign was the latest (and greatest) expression of the rising anti-GMO tide in the US that has swelled over the last 2-3 years. Other expressions have included the popularity of the Non-GMO label in grocery stores, the huge number of activists working on GMO issues, the unprecedented GMO coverage in the media, and the 19 state legislatures that considered GMO labeling bills. These are all early signs of a coming tipping point of consumer rejection. What sets Prop 37 apart, however, was how profoundly it has accelerated anti-GMO sentiment in both quantity and quality.
Huge numbers of people became aware for the first time that they were eating GMOs—we have changed the whole conversation. And numerous actors, chefs, musicians, artists, filmmakers, politicians, comedians, and others chimed in support of our side for the very first time. Being against GMOs or pro-labeling has clearly become cool.
From the quality perspective, I was blown away by the enthusiasm, competence, and utter devotion of the California volunteers. What I witnessed in the more than 50 events I attended throughout the state over the last 90 days was totally unique in my experience. The depth and solidarity of commitment to this issue is profoundly established.Although we narrowly lost on the vote, the campaign has propelled our movement forward onto a whole new platform. I am more confident and optimistic than ever that we will soon achieve the tipping point that we all desire.Please forward this email to other Prop 37 supporters. Please subscribe to our newsletter, Spilling the Beans, as we can’t wait to share some of the plans that are taking shape.Congratulations to all those involved. And remember, this was part of a rising tide that is still rising!
Jeffrey M. Smith
The Institute for Responsible Technology Food Policy Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization engaging in advocacy and legislative lobbying activities.