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Ignorance Wins in California
by Joe Giambrone
The ballot initiative to give the public the "right to know" if their food is genetically altered in a laboratory (Prop 37) has failed by 53/47%. The Monsanto and partners disinformation blitz, to the tune of $44 Million or more, succeeded in confusing citizens and convincing them to directly vote against their own interests. It helped the corporate gang that their slush fund was able to sway several large newspapers into siding with them and to tell their readers to oppose their own basic rights.
The blame, however, ultimately rests upon the people themselves. Ignorance can be combatted with education, yet often that's not the case. People are far too willing to believe well-told lies rather than expend the energy to investigate the truth for themselves. They are molded from childhood to be passive receptacles of information rather than curious seekers of knowledge. This style of factory-worker programming is widespread and a relic from the recent past industrial age. Workers were not expected to question, but to passively obey, thus the non-thinking majority.
Another facet of the disinformation on Proposition 37 is the myth of technocratic solutions to all problems. If science can do it, then it must be good. The scientists know more than the couch potatoes, and so these naturally defer to the so-called experts, or any paid PR flak posing as an expert. The Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, Bayer crowd's "expert" du jour was one Dr. Henry I. Miller, who was one of the monkey wrenchers at the Food and Drug Administration in 1992, when their policy of allowing any and all corporate experiments in genetics to be sold as "food" was first codified. Miller wrote a book that could serve as Monsanto's bible on GMOs:
"The products of the new biotechnology often were regarded as though they were mysterious and alien substances transported here from another galaxy, instead of the result of precise and well-understood scientific processes."
Mr. Miller has a problem understanding that the results of eating these products over the long term are an imprecise and completely non-understood experiment that has not been completed. The experiments are currently ongoing, but have no controls, no limitations and no mechanisms for stopping them. The guinea pigs and rats are the human beings populating America and other nations, and with no "precise" method of predicting harm to vital organs and systems, Mr. Miller's efforts will likely result in catastrophic harm to millions. Or is it billions?
While inserting genes may be a "precise" and "well-understood" process, what the genes actually do to the organism after being inserted is not precise or well-understood at all. Those are the actual findings of the FDA scientists who directly contradicted their political/industrial masters like Miller at the time. Honest scientists have been contradicting these rosy estimates ever since. Peer-reviewed animal studies with GMO foods regularly show tumors, organ failures and even death.
Miller has spoken for a number of other interesting issues over his career. In addition to ramming genetic experiments down the throats of the nation, Miller has had prior love affairs with tobacco, DDT pesticides, the pharmaceutical industry -- again concerning the need to get rid of all that pesky safety-testing -- as well as with Exxon and even with radiation, claiming that the Japanese people ""could actually have benefited" from the Fukushima meltdown!
Oh yes. This is the man who led the forces of deceit and disinformation to victory this week in California. Voters would rather not know what they are feeding their children than to have to think about any such matters again. One wonders if 53% of the population has ever read a nutrition label in their lives. One may even notice the shape, the literal bulbous round shape of their co-citizens as they hobble about or ride the electric carts through the supermarkets. These people will be protected from having to read yet another label or having to make a choice about it. Thank God for that. We have too much choice, you see, and too much knowledge at our disposals. It's all too much, and we really need saviors like Dr. Miller to sort it all out for us and tell us what to do.
Those who look at numbers might be interested to know that only 52.3% of registered voters showed up, and it's difficult to know how many don't even bother to register. As 8.7 million registered California voters didn't even bother to cast a ballot for anything, perhaps we are really at the limits of democracy. The cracks have widened and the integrity of the system is crumbling. There are many ways to look at the fact of low voter turnout, and many will spin it this way or that. Some will champion the non-voter as some kind of hero. One thing is certain: when they don't show up, they affect nothing. Those who assume power don't care a bit about them. Their influence is nothing. Their prospects are slim for gaining anything in the political processes that will scrape on without them. They have failed to even make a statement in favor of a third-party opposition candidate. They have abdicated their responsibilities as citizens.
Will GMO labeling be back?