Many people have decided who they are voting for in the primary election. Some have not. If you are undecided, you still have time. Make sure you are registered in one of the parties or you are not able to vote on primary election day in Pennsylvania. What party you choose is none of my business but there are some facts that you should know when it comes to party affiliation and food. We all eat. Some healthy, some unhealthy. Some organic, some non-organic. We all have the choice. Isn’t America grand? I began looking into all of the candidates to decide who I will vote for come primary day and what issues were important to me as a farm owner transitioning to organic production. We are at a crossroads in our country.
Genetically modified food is now at the forefront of debate in our country. The overwhelming majority of people would like the choice whether to eat or not eat GMO food. GMO seed is produced by several companies but the major player is Monsanto who also owns the patent on Round-Up, which is a weed killer. The majority of the corn and soy produced in the United States is genetically modified to withstand farmers spraying these crops with Round-Up. Round-Up is used to kill weeds so that it’s easier for farmers to harvest and yield more per acre. More than 80% of the food in grocery stores contain GMO ingredients and they are not labeled. The Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to do any testing on these chemicals for chronic ingestion by humans. The World Health Organization has classified Round-up (glyphosate) as a possible carcinogen.
A majority of the candidates for President have not been speaking about our food system in the USA and I think it’s important. I decided to dig a little deeper and see where the democratic candidates stand on issues affecting farmers and food consumers, so I can make a decision on April, 26. I am a registered democrat, so my focus was solely on Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton.
My research led me to the Clinton Global Initiative, which is in place to assist in solving the world’s problems. I didn’t have to look far and I was easily able to make the connection to Monsanto. Monsanto and Dow Chemical companies support the Clinton Foundation with generous donations. The Monsanto chairman and CEO spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in 2014. The top campaign advisor for the Clinton campaign was a lobbyist for Monsanto for years and is now in charge of her super-pac Ready for Hillary.
On the other side of the fence, Bernie Sanders is a Senator from Vermont. He supports the nations first of its kind GMO Labeling law which is set to take effect as of July 2016. Bernie Sanders authored an amendment to the 2014 farm bill that would give states the ability to decide whether or not to require GMO labeling. “The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat,” Sanders said. A Kansas Senator introduced a bill in February 2016 to ban states from making decisions on GMO labeling and put the onus back on the federal government to voluntarily allow companies to label or not. This puts the responsibility onto the food companies to decide whether to label or not.
I will let you decide. Chemical agriculture is killing our ecology and we should be able to make the decision ourselves. For too long, we have been in the dark when it comes to our food supply. We have a choice this presidential election for the first time in decades to finally climb that mountain and push the chemical companies off the top. The choice is yours. GO VOTE!! Make a decision and choose a candidate that supports what you believe in. Remember, if you don’t vote, your voice will not be heard.