I do not trust these chemical companies

To the Editor:

Monsanto has a history of false and misleading advertising, and they are doing it again.

The adversaries of Proposition 37, the top six bio-tech/pesticide companies Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, and Dow have invested $20 million into their No on Prop. 37 campaign. Monsanto is the lead company in this endeavor, investing over $7 million. I do not trust these chemical companies with their genetic alterations of my food.

A Brazilian court convicted Monsanto of false and abusive advertising. Monsanto’s 2004 advertisements, "propaganda," claimed that GM soy seed, and the herbicide glyphosate used in its cultivation, were beneficial to the conservation of the environment. The court sentenced Monsanto to pay compensation for moral damages caused to consumers by their false and abusive ads.

We know that glyphosate, a main ingredient in Roundup, is linked to hormonal disruptions, miscarriages, infertility, birth defects, etc. It is highly toxic to amphibians and kills earthworms. Not only does it create environmental harm, Roundup Ready GM foods contain higher residues of the toxic herbicide. Between 1996 and 2008, U.S. farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs.

In 1996, Monsanto was accused of false and misleading advertising of glyphosate products, prompting a lawsuit by the New York State attorney general.

In 2001, a case in France was brought against Monsanto for presenting Roundup as biodegradable and claiming that it left the soil clean after use. Glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, is classed by the European Union as "dangerous for the environment" and "toxic for aquatic organisms." In January 2007, Monsanto was convicted of false advertising. The result was confirmed in 2009. The French court forced Monsanto to withdraw its misleading advertising claims.

Now, we have been seeing large, two-page advertisements funded by the corporate biotech giants, landing in our mailboxes. They are against Proposition 37, Our Right to Know if GMOs are in Our Food. I have read some of their ads and have found many of their statements to be untrue and misleading. They appear to be making a strong effort to confuse the public.

According to honest studies, when enacted, the Mandatory GE Labeling Law could cost as little as 3-80 cents per person a year. There are exemptions written into Prop. 37, and they make sense, if you were to study it.

Well over 900,000 registered voters got Prop. 37 on the ballot. Will grassroots knowledge work and awareness outweigh all that money and advertisement sway? If Prop. 37 passes it will help people to know if GMOs are in their food, so that they can make educated choices. If you would like to be empowered, vote Yes on Prop. 37.

Stephanie Gawboy