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?”
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.