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Organic Consumers Association

Monsanto's Minion Announces Surrender on GMO Labeling

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Washington News page.



Ladies and gentlemen,

In just about three weeks from now, on November 5, Washington State will likely pass a ballot initiative to label GMOs. Polling I've seen suggests two-thirds of voters currently approve of I-522. Those numbers may come down a bit, but my hunch is this particular battle is lost.

I'm told that it's entirely possible that the ballot initiative could then be struck down as unconstitutional, so it being passed is not the end point. But as Churchill once said, it is certainly the end of the beginning. The strategy of fighting labeling state by state will have failed, and something new will have to take its place. Today I want to outline to you some ideas about what this something new might look like.

But first, let's be clear why this matters. I strongly believe that biotechnology is an essential part of the toolbox to feed the world sustainably in the future. We need crops that are resistant to new diseases, that can cope with a changing climate and that enable us to feed an increasing human population while minimizing the environmental impact of agriculture.

GMOs can deliver on some, though by no means all, of this challenge. They can increase nitrogen use efficiency. They can deliver disease and pest resistance without the need for large-scale applications of agrochemicals. They can increase productivity and thereby spare land for nature even as we work to double food production by mid-century. And they can address challenges coming at us from global warming such as thermal tolerance limits and drought and flood problems also.   


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