Nov 6, 2012
Campaign supporters of genetically manipulated foods could soon find themselves involved in a federal criminal investigation, related to their own manipulation of voters in California’s hotly debated Proposition 37.
Even as ballots are still being cast in the battle over the measure, which would require labeling for genetically modified (GM) foods, the fight is taking an unexpected turn – straight into FBI headquarters. The agency reportedly contacted an attorney for the CA Right to Know campaign, in response to an official complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice on October 18, which cited numerous, and likely criminal, actions by the “No on 37” campaign.
Opponents of the Prop 37 ballot measure were reportedly caught red-handed spouting lie after lie in campaign advertisements distributed in recent weeks. In one advertisement – the one that’s now getting the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – campaign backers featured the FDA logo just below this direct quote: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says a labeling policy like Prop 37 would be ‘inherently misleading’.”
The only problem is that the FDA denies it ever made any such statement… Woops. This means, as stated in the CA Right to Know official complaint, that “the use of the FDA’s seal and authority for political purposes appears to be in clear violation of criminal statutes.” Though the FBI has not yet said whether it will move forward with a formal investigation, the agency has referred the complaint to the FDA for further inquiry. At this time, CA Right to Know is confident the matter is “being taken seriously by all relevant agencies.”
‘No on 37’ gets caught in its own sticky web of lies
But the FDA isn’t the only group claiming they’ve been misrepresented in anti-Prop 37 campaign materials. In fact, the laundry list of misdeeds appears to be quite long, even by the assessments of the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News, who have described the group’s ads as misleading.
According to a press statement issued by CA Right to Know (http://www.carighttoknow.org/documented_deceptions) which has been well and thoroughly documented, statements made by the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicate those organizations were also grossly misrepresented by the “No on 37” campaign, in the official California Voter Guide. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics even went so far as to subsequently issue its own press release to voters, expressing concerns over the misrepresentation, and clarifying its position that “the Academy supports consumers right to know what ingredients are in the foods they purchase to feed their families.”
In fact, the only group named on that voter guide list of opponents to Prop 37 that really do oppose it is the American Council on Science and Health, which is really just a “notorious front group for the pesticide industry and climate change deniers”, says CA Right to Know. Its list of documented deceptions goes on to expose other front groups which may at first seem well-meaning and harmless – groups like the “Coalition for Literacy” (formerly an anti-tobacco Prop 27 opponent back in May), the Cops Voting Guide (a man named Kelley Moran who’s actual profession is “political consultant”), and Californians Vote Green (whose website’s only help in determining why they might oppose the measure is to “please direct inquiries to Paul”).
But who would pay for a campaign of such lies and trickery? Only the very same organizations that have been pulling the wool over the eyes of American consumers for decades. To date, biotech industry giants have donated in excess of $41 million dollars to defeat the labeling initiative. But no amount of “hush money” can hide the truth forever. Whether Prop 37 passes at California polls on Tuesday or not, Americans all over the country are already waking up to the truth about GMO and reclaiming their right to know.
Sources for this article include: