Oakland Tribune: Give us a fair shake
It’s bad enough to have $25 million in deceptive TV commercials ready to barrel down on you at any moment, but can’t we at least get a fair shake from the editors at our own hometown newspaper?
We're disappointed that the Oakland Tribune took an editorial position against Proposition 37 without contacting us even though our small staff is right down the street from their office. Worse, the editorial was factually incorrect, and worse still, it has been reprinted in the Monterey County Herald and online by the San Jose Mercury News -- even though there are glaring errors in the piece.
The editorial claims that Prop 37 has a “zero-tolerance policy” for the accidental contamination of genetically modified food unlike nearly all other countries. This is incorrect. Prop 37, if you read it, is actually more lenient than other countries in this regard. The initiative is clear that food does not have to be labeled if it is not intentionally made with genetically engineered crops. Section 110809.2, (b) of the initiative explains that crops not intentionally genetically engineered or intentionally comingled with GE foods are exempt with a sworn statement from the supplier.
The Oakland Tribune also claims that, “Voters in Vermont and Connecticut have already rejected such a labeling bill.” Wrong. Both state legislatures put forth bills, amid huge bipartisan support, to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Vermont’s labeling bill passed the Agricultural Committee with a 9-1 vote before running out of time in the session. Connecticut’s bill was stripped at the last minute of the labeling mandate due to intimidation, threats and lobby pressure from Monsanto. In no way can these situations be construed as “voters rejecting a bill.”
Reporters who are buying into the storylines of the opposition without fact checking should also note this statement clarifying the position of the American Medical Association, which this year called for mandatory safety studies for genetically engineered foods due to concerns about allergies, antibiotic resistance and other health issues that have not been adequately investigated.
We ask you to look at who is against Proposition 37 – the same companies that told us DDT and Agent Orange were safe, which are now spreading inaccurate information about Proposition 37. And who is for it – millions of moms and dads across the state, more than 1,000 endorsing organizations and many California businesses in our state’s thriving natural and sustainable food industry.
Vote yes on Proposition 37 and please, media, at least give us a fair shake.
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