Organic Consumers Association

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Saying No To Hershey For Kids This Halloween - GMOs And Prop 37

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Politics and Democracy page and our Appetite For a Change page.

The tang of fall is in the air, bringing to mind the autumnal seasons of my childhood when I looked forward to Hallowe'en festivities for weeks before their arrival. Wielding blunt little scissors, I cut out construction paper decorations for my family's big front window, planned my costume with serious deliberation and clapped with delight when my mother would fill a small bowl with those seasonal Hershey's miniature chocolate bars on the kitchen table. Dibs on the Krackel Bars - my decided personal favorites!

But in 2012, this last tradition isn't one I'd want to share with today's little children in America, because of the Hershey Corporation's decision to spend nearly $400,000 to keep genetically modified organisms hidden in their American products.

Hershey supplies non-GMO sweets to lucky European children whose parents have refused to let these unwanted ingredients into their countries' food supplies, but thanks to deals between corporations and the U.S. government, Americans have intentionally been kept in the dark about the presence of GMOs in our food.

Hershey is capable of switching out genetically modified sugar and soy ingredients for non-contaminated ones - they have had to do so in order to do business in Europe, but they want to take cheap shortcuts because they can get away with it in America. Unfortunately, it will be trick-or-treaters in the United States who will pick up the spooky tab for this trick in their Hallowe'en pillowcases, pumpkins and bags this year when neighbors hand out Hershey's candy.

Why spooky? Because independent studies (not funded by the GMO manufacturers) find that genetically modified food damages the kidneys and livers of mammals and could lead to chronic disease. The only parties claiming that GMOs are safe for human consumption are the ones who are making money off of creating and marketing them. So many countries have banned GMOs, making the U.S. look like we've fallen asleep at the wheel. Until now.

In California, on the November 2012 ballot, residents will have the chance to vote in favor of the landmark, world-changing Proposition 37. If you live in California, this will probably be the most important vote you will ever make in your life, because it all boils down to whether we will have something real to eat in the future or not. No food, no life, right? You can't get down to more basic basics than that.

And the GMO machine is already roaring to life, pouring millions into anti-Prop 37 marketing to protect their ability to continue to hide these unwanted organisms in American food. If this incredible proposition passes, a miraculous change will take place from coast to coast because 70% of the food in U.S. supermarkets will either have to have that skull-and-crossbones 'Contains GMOs' label on their packaging or, source their ingredients from non-GMO farmers. Your Yes vote on Prop 37 will literally change the world. 

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