justice-scales-moneyJon Rappoport

November 14, 2013

www.nomorefakenews.com

The sub-title of this article is borrowed from a sentence a friend wrote to me:

Let’s vote to label something that is destroying the biology of the Earth.

Under a tweet with the title of my recent article, “Criticize the moneyman who support GMO labeling: you get Silence,” there is a tweet from Dr. Bronner, who I presume is David Bronner.

He has been a major funder of the Prop 37 and Prop 522 labeling campaigns in CA and WA. He is pro-labeling.

The Bronner reply tweet reads: “We’ve been very careful to listen to local campaigners on campaign tactics.”

We’ve been very careful to listen to local campaigners on campaign tactics. @jonrappoport @mercola @Gary_Hirshberg @Yeson522
Dr. Bronner’s Soaps (@DrBronner) November 14, 2013

Based on limited information, I would question that. But my article was really about something else. It was about the overall message these campaigns have pushed at voters: “You have a right to know what’s in your food.”

It’s been the single message in ads, from start to (losing) finish for both Prop 522 and 37.

It has drowned out all other messages from the pro-labeling camp.

And it’s a disaster. Big-time.

You have a right to know because…? The campaigns don’t answer that question for voters. They don’t put that answer out in flaming letters and spoken words and images.

One might think the reason for the gross omission has something to do with treating voters gently “on the level at which they can perceive the issue.”

But behind that unworkable strategy, there is fear. Fear of going up against Monsanto and Dow and Syngenta and other food-tech giants who are responsible for inserting genes in food crops and drenching growing fields with toxic chemicals.

These giants don’t need big shields to ward off blows in the labeling campaigns, because no blows are coming at them. They only have to deflect the droning “you have a right to know.”

Ultimately, the question isn’t about winning or losing the labeling initiatives on ballots. It’s about waking people up to the corporations who are monopolizing and poisoning the food supply.

In other words, Monsanto wins in the long run, unless the public outcry is so great it becomes an unstoppable wave.

And in that crucial regard, “you have a right to know” doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t come close.

As I’ve written before, American consumers will not buy so much non-GMO food it pushes Monsanto to the wall. Unless…the truth about Monsanto’s crimes becomes a sword.

Why is it so hard to understand this?

Because so many people want things to be easy and clean and nice and neat.

Wanting it, however, does not make it so.

On the level at which these labeling initiatives are carried out, the mythic theme is: we can build a better model (while leaving the criminal in place to decay away to dust). Then we sweep up the ashes and go on our merry way.

Would that it were so.

This is, however, a piece of mind control. It saturates the minds of people who “just want things to be fair” and “fairly decided.”

Even those who admit the voters “need to be educated about the harm GMOs and herbicides do” aren’t on the right track. They’re too soft. This isn’t a classroom in which the teacher draws diagrams on the blackboard.

This isn’t merely an adult education class.

This is showing people, up close, in their faces, what chemical warfare is like, when the agent is Monsanto’s Roundup. Evil. This is farmers, actual humans, coerced by Monsanto and driven to the wall. Evil. This is the death of small farming. Evil. This is big fat superweeds taking over farm land, so farmers have to spray even more dangerous chemicals like Paraquat on their fields. Evil. This is Monsanto buying up seed companies and taking over the food supply. Evil. This is Monsanto liars lying to the public about food safety. Evil. This is the US government, the FDA, the USDA, the White House, the President(s) running the game exactly as Monsanto wants them to. Evil. This is shooting untested and unpredictable genes into food. This is making people sick. This is punishing scientists who expose Monsanto. Evil.

All this is the substance of a real political campaign, which has the actual goal of putting Monsanto on the run as the towering wave overtakes them.

And that is the goal, because that is the only way to stop GMO food and horrific chemicals.

Consumer choice as the answer is like Rule by the Proletariat as an answer. In the Marxian fairy tale, the State eventually withers away, magically, and utopia is what’s left. In the consumer choice model, enough food buyers choose non-GMO and Monsanto withers away.

Believing this is a preposterous article of faith.

Monsanto is quite happy to go into the ring and contest that faith with its own propaganda machine, for the next 50 years.

Again, why is this so hard to understand?

Because in a core waking trance, the leaders and money men, with their allies and field workers, in the campaign to label GMOs, are soothing themselves with a fantasy about what works in the arena of politics.

They like their fantasy. They want to hold on to it. They are comforted by it. It sings a song to them. So it must be true.

But it isn’t.

Winning labeling campaigns, losing them, it’s all the same…the battle is lost, unless we name the evil and attack it and reveal it for all to see and keep on attacking it.

If you lived in a neighborhood where one family dumped corrosive clouds of poison on their lawn every few days, would you tell your other neighbors to choose organic lemon juice to kill weeds and leave it at that?

Would you smile and wipe your hands of the whole problem and go on your way, believing the issue would resolve itself?

Would you say, “Soon, no stores will sell that corrosive poison because so many people are buying lemons”?

That’s my reply to David Bronner and the other major money men who fund GMO labeling. I would be interested in reading their full responses.

As always, I hope they actually read what I write and reply to it, rather than to some straw man.

For example, if they write, “Well, we almost won in WA and CA with our strategy”, then they haven’t read me; nor have they read the tea leaves correctly.

@DrBronner it was close. I bet the next state that takes it on wins, especially after people hear how big food broke rules w donations—
Denise Minge (@deniseminge) November 14, 2013

http://vote.wa.gov/results/current/State-Measures-Initiative-to-the-Legislature-522-Concerns-labeling-of-genetically-engineered-foods.html

They’re sipping a cup of organic tea, whistling past a graveyard in the dead of night.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

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11 Responses to “Dr. Bronner replies to Rappoport article on GMO labeling strategy”

  1. I think I understand now what you are saying, pm. However, the current system we are working under is so corrupt that a complete purge is necessary before any meaningful legislation can be passed, and the criminals do have might on their side. What we have, and can work with, are local areas. At this point, anything that is currently placed in the system will ultimately be corrupted by it until the purge takes place and all unconstitutional laws negated.

  2. pm says:

    All I’m saying is that without government we cannot enforce laws against powerful mulinationals and banks. Do you think the people can fight these wealthy oligarchs and their private armies? That this is not happening only suggests that these interests should be purged from government — not that government should be abolished. Anarchy favors the plutocrats. It’s why they cause wars and economic turmoil.

    How is wanting to reform and reclaim our government via grassroots activism contradictory? Better government, not bigger more centralized and tyrannical, is the goal.

  3. pm – Not cynical, just realistic. Nothing of importance will happen from the top down. They already openly defy laws, and make up new stuff as they go to cover their tracks. This is reality, and despair has nothing to do with it. Labeling laws are a joke, and anyone familiar with the laws realizes this. They are created to hide, not reveal, and what little they do reveal is minimal. You are contradicting yourself when you say that a grassroots effort is needed, then say that we need the government to take control. Which is it?

  4. pm says:

    Barb
    I’m not so cynical to believe that their power is so absolute that they could afford to openly defy laws without detriment to their almighty profits. Regardless, there are still many things we can do if enough people mobilize on a grassroots level and all of them are better than more deregulation (of Big Agra/banks/wallstreet) or despair.

  5. pm – If government is controlled by financial oligarchs, and it is, why on earth would you think that the government would force the owners of Big Agra, which is also owned and controlled by these very same financial oligarchs, to honestly disclose the ingredients of their products?

  6. pm says:

    If government doesn’t legally force Big Agra to disclose the ingredients of their products, it will never happen. Private corps will always lie to protect their profits. And and unchecked profit motive distorts incentives to detriment of the public good. Libertarians live in a dreamworld invented by the financial oligarchs that control government.

  7. anonymous says:

    If it’s poisonous and toxic, you do have The Right To Ban.

  8. anonymous says:

    Yes and there are “Urban Guerilla” Farmers like Ron Finley in L.A.

    A libertarian farmer’s take on GMO labels (full speech)
    10Nov2013
    By Rady Ananda
    Food Freedom News

    http://foodfreedomgroup.com/20.....mo-labels/

    Note: An earlier version of this article first appeared at Activist Post. This version contains the full speech by Joel Salatin. (You may be able to watch the full debate. I can’t tell if my cookies enable me to see it since I paid for it, or if anyone can watch. Start at ~55 minutes: http://new.livestream.com/ftcldf/joevsjoel) ~ Ed.

    On Nov. 7, two real-food icons debated whether the federal government should mandate labeling of genetically modified foods: Dr Joe Mercola, who runs the world’s most popular alternative health site, and farmer and author Joel Salatin, who’s been featured in several documentaries including Food, Inc. and Fresh.

    The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and its founder, the Weston A Price Foundation, hosted the fundraiser in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of a weekend long conference. Five hundred people attended the sold-out dinner and debate, and 160 people bought tickets to watch the event online.

    Modeled after the Lincoln-Douglas debate style, Joe vs. Joel ran for 32 minutes and delivered far more than the organizers expected when tempers ran high. Highly entertaining and educational, the debate was ruled a tie by food author David Gumpert who moderated the debate in a black-and-white striped referee’s shirt. The resolution debated was worded as follows:

    “It is resolved that the federal government should mandate GMO labeling on foods.”

    Mercola took the position that labeling GMOs is vital to raising public awareness because GMOs are killing us, and the environment. The federal position that genetically modified foods are “substantially equivalent” to real food, he said, “is legalized fraud.” He sees the 20-year presence of GM foods at a critical stage that must be immediately addressed by federal involvement.

    Salatin, more energetic and emotional, opposes federal involvement in GMO labeling, and gave the libertarian take on Big Government. His 9-minute opening argument against federal involvement in food commerce was so profound, so common sensical, so radically free, that it was worth transcribing for those who missed the debate (at bottom).

    Salatin’s 7-point argument begins with rejecting government authority over our food, and ends with support for property rights as the proper solution to GMOs. His argument encourages consumers to pursue healthy foods thru self-education rather than demand entitlement from an authority that “has already shown by precedent” that bureaucrats will hold farmers hostage to arbitrary rules, or else be put out of business.

    Anyone following the federally-directed state raids on raw dairy farmers over the past several years completely understands this position. Research has shown that humans have been drinking raw animal milk and eating raw dairy for 10,000 years. It’s only in the last 100 that the US government has criminalized fresh dairy, taking a one-size-fits-all solution to ills caused by sick animals kept indoors in crowded, unclean conditions and fed grains instead of grasses, their natural choice.

    But Joel’s strongest point was against the “right-to-know”:

    “The consumer has no right to know. The founders of our great nation offered the right to pursue happiness. The right to seek is distinctly different than an entitlement. We turned pursuit into entitlement, and that cheapens inalienable rights bestowed by God, not governments….

    “I would suggest that this knowledge-entitlement idea led to prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay. Right to know coerces. Right to seek liberates.

    “That we the people should depend on the federal government for our knowledge on the morsels our bureaucratic caretakers dispense is profoundly un-American, disempowering, and childish.”

    Woven into that argument, he later said:

    “How do we stimulate educated consumers? By insisting on personal responsibility. If we shift that responsibility to know to the government, we simply encourage ignorance…. A label mandate dumbs us down. It creates lethargic interest rather than aggressive seekers.”

    Citing Smart Shopper guides and new technologies, Salatin added:

    “In the not too distant future, consumers will be able to run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, GMOs, pesticides, food safety and more with their smart phones. If we patiently wait for marketplace innovation, labeling will probably be moot.

    “To suggest that the first and most efficacious remedy for any societal ill is increased federal meddling and police power shows a profound lack of creativity and a prejudicial mindset against personal empowerment.”

    Spoken like a true independent, his argument cannot be ignored by anyone who recognizes that the federal government serves only corporate profits, routinely violating basic human rights enumerated in the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights.

    Ironically, he points out, GMO advocate Mark Lynas also calls for federal mandatory GMO labeling “as the best way for the industry to tell the story of its marvelous benefits.” I have a great deal of respect for both men, and an appreciation for both their positions.

    Stylistically, Salatin was far more charming. He knows how to hold a crowd. His argument against federal labeling won me to his position, while Mercola’s suggestion that Salatin’s position would split the true food movement hits below the belt.

    But, Salatin’s “Just Say No” to GMOs advice reveals a level of myopia only wealth can breed. “Food deserts” describe the utter lack of choice for most urbanites in crowded cities where organic simply isn’t stocked. Like a flea on the trunk of an elephant, a strictly bucolic view of the food system fails to perceive what it’s like to be an urbanite who is forced to eat the crap sold at the corner store, or at the local fast-food joint when you have only a 30-minute work break and no way to chill or secure a lunchbox.

    While 70% of all US food is genetically modified, in the inner cities, 100% of food sold is genetically altered and/or chemically saturated. Choice simply doesn’t exist for tens of millions of urbanites in the US. I travel an hour to procure raw milk. Most people don’t have that luxury. I do agree, though, that this societal ill, like most others, can and should be addressed by any means other than federal involvement.

    It might have been choreographed acting, but Salatin was surprisingly antagonistic toward Mercola, who flustered. Even more surprising, Sally Morell, director of the Weston A Price Foundation (which founded the FTCLDF) rebuffed Salatin in her comments following the debate:

    “Joel, you said if you don’t want to eat GMOs, eat organic. How do you know food is organic? It’s labeled. Is the label state or federal? It’s federal.”

    Her support of federal labeling contradicts the FTCLDF position that food commerce between consenting adults should be free of government intrusion, as articulated by attorney Pete Kennedy prior to the debate. Sally is Pete’s boss. Whose position will be promoted by these organizations when the rubber meets the road, when donation dollars are collected, when Take Action notices are sent, when client farmers face criminal charges?

    Also broadcast was FTCLDF’s presentation of the Never a Doormat Award to persecuted Wisconsin farmer, Vernon Hershberger, who was acquitted on three of four misdemeanor charges for selling fresh food directly to consumers. The jury tossed out the licensing failures but convicted on the hold-order violation. That means when state authorities sealed his food supply ordering him not to touch it, he simply cut the tape and sold, gave away and used the food according to his principles.

    Hershberger provides food for a private buying club as well as his own family of 10 children. He paid $1,500 in fines and court costs, as ordered. Even that penalty was extreme, given that his initial crime was raising natural foods for a group of private citizens. None of his product is sold on the open market, and none of it sickened anyone.

    Compare his case to Jack DeCosta’s egg operations which have sickened thousands of people and which continue to operate. The only difference is scale; government favors big business over small operations.

    Like the legal arguments used in the Hershberger trial, the GMO label issue represents an ideological debate between more government or less. More personal freedom or less. More authoritarian control over our food supply from a government that has seen to the destruction of small farms in favor of large agri-giants. More corporate domination and ecocide by criminalizing private contracts between sustainable producers and educated consumers.

    Food freedom advocates less government control and more personal choice.

    (You may be able to watch the full debate. I can’t tell if my cookies enable me to see it since I paid for it, or if anyone can watch. Start at ~55 minutes: http://new.livestream.com/ftcldf/joevsjoel)

    Joel Salatin’s 9-minute opening argument opposing federal GMO labels, Nov. 7, 2013, Atlanta, GA:
    “Should the federal government mandate GMO labeling on our food? No. I’m well aware that this position is contrary to many dear friends in the integrity food movement, Dr. Joe certainly being one of those.

    At the outset, let me make two things abundantly clear. I despise GMOs. I do not like GMOs, Sam I am. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere.

    Secondly, I categorically reject the notion that being against federal labeling makes me a friend of Monsanto. Everyone who favored [opposed?] prohibition was not in favor of alcoholism. I have seven lines of analysis.

    No. 1.

    We shouldn’t be asking for federal government authority over our food, period. A mandatory label is a marketing license. Listen carefully, a mandatory label is a marketing license. Only a higher power can license a lower power. Asking for a license concedes authority. Consider this. Do you want the government to have the authority to license your food? Really?

    The authority to license is the authority to deny access. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund promotes the idea that food commerce should be able to occur voluntarily between consenting adults, without bureaucratic intrusion. I summarily reject the notion that the government has authority over my food.

    No. 2.

    Demanding GMO labeling may be exactly what the industry wants. Just a few days ago on October 15, British environmentalist and GMO advocate Mark Lynas addressed the Center for Food Integrity summit in Chicago. He called for federal mandatory GMO labeling as the best way for the industry to tell the story of its marvelous benefits.

    Are we being duplicitous?

    No. 3.

    The consumer has no right to know. The founders of our great nation offered the right to pursue happiness. The right to seek is distinctly different than an entitlement. We turned pursuit into entitlement, and that cheapens inalienable rights bestowed by God, not governments.

    Right to know cannot be guaranteed by anyone or anything any more than a right to be educated, a right to good medical care, or the right to good food. These cannot be guaranteed as entitlements.

    I would suggest that this knowledge entitlement idea led to prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay. Right to know coerces. Right to seek liberates.

    That we the people should depend on the federal government for our knowledge on the morsels our bureaucratic caretakers dispense is profoundly un-American, disempowering, and childish.

    No. 4.

    Asking for federal intervention in this matter is not superior to a hodge-podge of state initiatives. Too many of us quickly arrogate to a centralized federal level every societal remedy, routinely abandoning state diversity in favor of a one-size-fits-all approach.

    Will the agencies overseeing GMO labeling be more righteous than the overseers of the national organic program? Or the Food Modernization Act? Of course not. They’ve already showed us by precedent that they’re going to hold a farmer in some sort of little itty bitty compliance hostage with a 20-day response period and embargo everything that he does. Joe says it’ll probably be the same way.

    The individual patchwork of state initiatives gradually develops the wording, protocols and oversight that work, and that’s the best way to arrive at the solution. Let innovative states jockey for the most functional system. The cream will rise to the top.

    No. 5.

    Labeling to reduce GMO consumption is a cure worse than the disease, like banning cars to eliminate drunk driving. Are you really going to put your faith in labels?

    Our farm uses completely bogus nutrition labels, some are incorrect by a factor of a thousand. The regulators don’t care about truth; they care about checked boxes and placating the peasants. Government regulated labels are a joke, and that’s the truth.

    Who’s going to decide what it is? Who’s going to decide? Yeah, you’re really going to put your faith in a bureaucracy to come up with some integrity definition of whatever.

    No. 6.

    Federal labeling is the poorest way to remediate the GMO problem. Let’s list some of the other remedies: Buy organic; just buy organic. Know your farmer. Look for non-GMO labeled products. How about using the Weston A Price Foundation Smart Shopper Guide? There’s more on the way.

    Dillon Charles, writing in the Waking Times May 27 edition, gives this prophecy: “In the not too distant future, consumers will be able to run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, GMOs, pesticides, food safety and more with their smart phones.” If we patiently wait for marketplace innovation, labeling will probably be moot.

    To suggest that the first and most efficacious remedy for any societal ill is increased federal meddling and police power shows a profound lack of creativity and a prejudicial mindset against personal empowerment. Nobody has to eat GMOs. Nobody is holding us hostage. The only thing hostage is our mental freedom to government nannyism.

    How do we stimulate educated consumers? By insisting on personal responsibility. If we shift that responsibility to know to the government, we simply encourage ignorance. We don’t exercise the servant muscles unless and until we have to. A label mandate dumbs us down. It creates lethargic interest rather than aggressive seekers.

    After all, if the government is watching out for us, our mental acuity can focus instead on the latest Kardashian excitement.

    No. 7

    Mandatory labeling is chasing the wrong solution. The right solution is a return to reverencing property rights. Think about the massive investment of time, money and effort expended in this labeling exercise. Now imagine if all that energy had been invested in demanding that district attorneys and state attorneys general simply enforced basic, common law property rights. Under trespass law, if my bull wanders onto your property and tramples your flowerbed, I’m liable. I’m liable! Any district attorney in the land will help you help me understand that my fist ends at your nose.

    In today’s America, however, these life forms that Monsanto owns, these alien, patented beings (let’s call them Monsanto’s bulls), these promiscuous beings run willy nilly to my farm, trampling my life, my property, committing sexual orgies in my fields and not only is Monsanto not liable for trespass but our nation is so convoluted that I must pay Monsanto for the privilege of their bulls trampling my flowers.

    Folks, where are the caretakers of our Rule of Law? Where is this outrage? You see, unfortunately, this issue can’t even raise a whimper because as a culture, we’ve drunk the Socialist Kool-Aid that private property is not worth defending, that my farm is really yours to control. My creek is yours to canoe on. My cheese is yours to regulate. My farm is yours to license. My body is yours to own.

    We have so eroded and abandoned the most fundamental virtue of Americanism that every person has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that we no longer reverence personal stuff.

    And now with Obamacare, I don’t even own my own nose.

    For all these reasons, federally mandated labeling is a bad idea. Momentum and truth are on our side. Let them grow organically through freedom.”

  9. I don’t agree that all is lost, squodgy. There is more to this life than the system we were indoctrination into. It’s time to withdraw from that system and build something different. Something that brings community back into neighborhoods. A bartering system trading goods and services will be necessary, as well as good, clean local food. This is what has to happen, IMO. This is my vision ;)

  10. squodgy says:

    The labelling campaign is just that to Monsatan, Dow, Syngenital, DuPont, Bayer et al.
    They love it, and as long as we keep bleating for it they are happy.
    The expense of beating the labelling campaign is allowable against profits, which continue unabated thanks to their disinfo machine.

    If, one day, they lose a campaign, the worst that could happen is that they are forced to put a “peanut” rider at the bottom of a pack, bottle, box, and by then Joe Moron probably won’t be able to read anyway.
    Until the corrupt politicians and DEA administrators realise that honesty in insisting on independently audited long term tests on animals is the only way forward for both sides, all is lost.

    All is lost.

  11. pm says:

    Maybe they aren’t being more aggressive and blunt because they afraid of being bombarded with law suits, however frivolous and unfounded, that will in the short run shut down their efforts and in the long run bankrupt them. This tactic was used against Dr. Burzinski;his practice was shut down and was forced into bankruptcy by an onslaught of frivolous law suits — despite winning them all. Fortunately, through much persecution and hardship, his story is beginning to see a happy ending.

    Its hard to blame others for wanting to avoid this path if they perceive and easier one. It’s even harder to criticize someone for not risking their entire livelihood and fortune, though it’s the right thing to do. And those are the stakes here for the real players on the front lines.