Those who oppose disclosure must be overcome

Through all the complexities of human life, I subscribe to a basic principle: transparency is the best policy. The only way that adults can make informed, reasoned choices in life is to have the facts. When a person or group opposes transparency and disclosure I believe their motives are dishonest and should be over-ruled. This goes for the financial industry which has notoriously spent millions lobbying against rules requiring transparency of fees and conflicts of interest. See: Hidden mutual fund fees need clear disclosure for a recent review of such issues.

It also goes for the food industry which has been vigorously opposing our right to be informed about the food we consume. They must not win this one.

“At this very moment, Monsanto and other pesticide companies are spending more than $1 million a day to convince California voters that it’s not in their best interest to know whether the food they eat is genetically engineered. And Henry I. Miller is their guy.

If you live in California today, he’s hard to miss. You see him in TV ads, hear him in radio spots, and his face is all over the expensive fliers that keep showing up uninvited in your mail box. Initially, the ads presented Miller as a Stanford doctor. But he isn’t. He’s a research fellow at a conservative think tank (the Hoover Institute) that has offices on the Stanford campus. When this deceptive tactic came to light, the ads were pulled and then redone. But they still feature Miller telling the public that Prop 37 “makes no sense,” and that it’s a “food-labeling scheme written by trial lawyers who hope for a windfall if it becomes law.”

Actually, Prop 37 makes all the sense in the world if you want to know what’s in the food you eat. It was written by public health advocates, and provides no economic incentives for filing lawsuits.

Who, then, is Henry I. Miller, and why should we believe him when he tells us that genetically engineered foods are perfectly safe?

Does it matter that this same Henry Miller is an ardent proponent of DDT and other toxic pesticides? Does it matter that the “No on Prop 37″ ads are primarily funded by pesticide companies, the very same companies that told us DDT and Agent Orange were safe?”

See: This man is lying about your food.

When industries wish to advance self-serving business models against the best interests of their customers, they typically buy PHD’s to thwart understanding and free choice with the clubs of big money and higher education. This is indefensible and utterly repugnant. The basic tenants of democracy, capitalism and free choice, all require disclosure. Those who seek to block this must be overcome.

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4 Responses to Those who oppose disclosure must be overcome

  1. John C says:

    I could not agree more, Danielle.

    Recall JFK’s famous speech about secrecy: in which he appealed to the press to seek the truth and report it openly.

    Eisenhower’s farewell address in January, 1961 (just before Kennedy took office) is also relevant and contains critical words of wisdom for us today:

    US presidents don’t say such things anymore. Instead, today we have a president who rouses his audience by claiming, at his inaugural address, that he was not born in a manger, but rather is from the planet Krypton. Then, for doing nothing, he wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Sigh…

  2. SoCalWoman says:

    Thanks for this post, Danielle. I’ve been reading your blog for years and enjoy your insights.

    I also live in SoCal and am disgusted by the misinformation campaign against Prop 37. Every day my mailbox contains fliers with “recommendations” on how to vote, claiming to be from teachers unions, nurses associations, law enforcement, consumer watchdogs, and other groups. Every single one has recommended against labeling GMO foods. I’m drowning in those, plus online ads, plus the major newspapers like the LA Times who are clearly under the thumb of the big money players. So much money to be made, making sure we don’t know what we and our children are eating.

    I’ve been talking to friends and acquaintances and even people on the street about how important it is to vote Yes on Prop 37, but it’s hard to be optimistic. I did vote (by mail) this past weekend and at least my Yes vote is in.

  3. Attila Balazs says:

    Medtronic ghost-wrote sections of medical papers and paid physician authors hundreds of millions of dollars in “consulting fees” to promote its bone-growth product Infuse, a U.S. Senate investigation found. Medtronic helped write, edit and shape at least 11 medical journal articles about the product, which is used to spur bone growth after spinal surgery. The doctors and researchers who were the authors of the studies were part of a $210 million consulting and royalty payments program by Medtronic and never disclosed their ties or the company’s influence in their papers.

  4. bernie karpf says:

    Danielle, another invaluable insight….. i wish you could run for president of the USA… would vote early and often..

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