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If your not sure where you stand on the issue, follow the money.
Right to know, yes on 105 is an all volunteer grassroots organization of over 800 health professionals, educators, parents, sustainability advocates, farmers, concerned citizens, and conscious consumers. Who have raised nearly a million dollars in private donations.
No on 105, is a corporate funded lobby. The largest supporters include Monsanto(GMO seed), DuPont (chemicals), PepsiCo(high fructose corn syrup), BASF(chemicals), Bayer(chemicals like bee killing neonicitanoids), Dow(chemicals), Syngenta(GMO seed), Coca-Cola(high fructose corn syrup), Nestle(one of the world's worst polluters), and ConAgra Foods(C.A.F.O.s). They have dumped over 12.5 million into defeating 105. The folks you see on those commercials are admittedly paid industry lobbyists.
Who do you think has your best interest at heart?
Mark, that is exactly my point. GMO's are still experimental. 105 does not ban GMOs just labels them so people can choose whether they want to be a part of the experimented on or not.
Harvey, for someone who has stated here: "Governemnt(sic) can not be trusted!", you sure put a lot of trust in big gov bureaucracy to make your food decisions for you. The FDA has repeatedly approved foods and drugs that cause severe health problems only to recall them and then face suits that cost tax payers millions. Time and time again they put corporate profit over people. In this case it's profits in the oil based synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, and the designer seeds that the current system is reliant on. All GMO safety studies evaluated by the FDA have thus far been conducted by the companies seeking approval. To me that seems like a conflict of interest. There are no medical practitioners coming out against labeling while many are saying that labeling will give them more information to track where today's excessive health problems like the rise in food allergies, gi tract disorders, ALS, autism, childhood obesity and diabetes amongst others are starting. You know, treat the disease not the symptoms. There is a better way and we can be a part of the solution by making informed and conscious food choices and 105 will help us do that. Cheers.
Jerry, just so you know Prop 105 was proposed by a group of concerned citizens including, among others, conservatives concerned about consumer rights, sustainability, and Monsanto's negative effects on rural communities. This is not a partisan issue, although bio-tech funded propaganda is attempting to polarize it. Don't let them take away your right to know what is in your food.
Recent nationwide polls show wide support of labeling across party lines. 90% of GOPs, 93% DEMs, 91% INDs, on the high side and 70/81/75 on the low side. Enforcement will be handled within current regulatory framework and appropriations will come from the general fund. No new taxes, no new bureaucracy, just enhanced consumer rights, and corporate transparency.
I voted yes on 105!
Don't you think that we have a right to know what's in our food? GMO's have not been proven safe for long term human consumption. Here are a couple of facts to help clear up some misconceptions:
Colorado has what is called a single subject initiative law. That means only one statute can be amended or added per initiative. Because meat, dairy, alcohol, gum, pharmaceuticals and restaurant food are governed by different state statutes by law they had to be exempted from this initiative but are not exempted from future regulation. This initiative applies to packaged foods and produce which is 70% of what is in the grocery store.
No plant varieties have been engineered to be drought resistant. GMO's use the same amount of water as conventional varieties. Roundup Ready gmos are designed to withstand higher doses of herbicides and higher residual levels of glyphosate make their way into the food stream, ground water, and waterways. Long term glyphosate exposure has been proven to be harmful to health.
There is no national labeling system pertaining to gmos. Organic certification is voluntary and the GMO Free label is completely independent from any governing body. Because the USDA and FDA are populated by former big ag and biotech executives it is unlikely that that there ever will be. It is up to concerned citizens to make it happen on the state level.
Food exported from the state will not be required to be labeled unless it's destination has labeling requirements.
Farmer's are not required to do anything differently except inform their buyers of the type of seeds they use. If they choose to go GMO free then the expense of the change should be covered by the higher price that non gmo crops command.
Changing labels costs producers next to nothing. They change labels regularly. Food cost have not risen in the 64 other countries that require labeling.
The cost to taxpayers is estimated to be two cents per Coloradan per year.
All other ingredients that are man made, that is they do not occur naturally, are required to be labeled as such (artificial or synthetic). GMOs should be considered artificial because they were created in a laboratory and could never occur naturally. Some GMOs are even designed to produce toxic insecticide in every cell of the plant. While the creators of these plants claim there is no health risk, again there are no studies to show long term consumption is safe.
Please don't let the biotech industry's misinformation campaign convince you that you don't have the right to know what your eating. Because you do! But only a yes vote on 105 will preserve that right.
What about the diesel, oil based fertilizer, and pesticides that are used to grow the food that powers the said shoveler?
Here's a few numbers to think about. Since plastic bags were introduced (1977) estimated trillions have ended up in waterways, lakes, and oceans. 300 bags equals one gallon of gasoline. They take up to 1000 years to break down. Production of plastic bags emits .04 tons of CO2 per 1,000 bags. That's two times less than paper, four times less than compostable, and 171 times less than cotton canvas. If you can use that tote 172 times, only then will it be more eco-friendly. The average canvas tote is used an average of 51 times before it wears out or is retired. Other fabrics like bamboo or hemp are stronger than cotton and require marginally more energy to produce. Re-use your plastic bag at least once (halfing it's emissions) and then make sure it gets in the recycle bin at the store (keeping it out of the water and the landfill). Of course it's still made from non-renewable oil. The most sustainable option would be to sew your own tote by hand using salvaged cloth scraps or better yet- home tanned leather and sinew from an animal killed with a hand crafted bow an arrow. Or... how about no bags? Put your groceries back into the cart, out to car and into the house bag free. Might take a few trips but uber-sustainable.
59 days is our frost free period. The growing season for hardy vegetables stretches from early May to early October. Something like 150 days and season extenders can add a month to the frost free period. We actually have an ideal climate for growing cool season veggies. To me "sustainable" means a method that works, doesn't deplete the resources used in that method, and can be repeated in perpetuity.
I agree that truly "sustainable" is more important than just local. The problem with transporting food long distance to market is that it necessitates an extremely large scale model that lends itself to unsustainable practices so "local" is inherently more sustainable. This is a broad generalization and I realize that if I lived in Iowa "local" could be industrial scale monoculture and cafos which are obviously unsustainable and that truly sustainable products make their way here from elsewhere.
There is no regulation on the usage of the word sustainable. Just because something says sustainable on the package doesn't make it so, but you can visit my farm and see my practices for yourself. That's an accountability you can only get with the local food model. As far as milk goes we have some of the best grass/hay anywhere and I would say that the energy used to put up the hay and feed it out is far less, I'm guessing less than a quarter, than that used to import milk over mountain ranges.
As a local producer I can say that there are people who really do want local food. I've never come home from the farmer's market with much left over and I would bet if City Markup were filled with local product, that is what people would eat. Especially if someone where making frozen pizzas with local ingredients.
Cost is a major factor. Microwave dinners are cheap, fruits and veggies are less so. The only reason that this is so is because the true cost of the cheap food has been externalized. Federal subsidies pay large scale monoculture producers (corn, wheat, and soy which make up most of the products in the center aisles at the mega mart) to sell their yields for next to nothing. Without this government support the price of these items would double or triple. Fruits, veggies, and other whole foods would look cheap considering their superior nutrition.
Routt is generally highly educated and educated people make educated decisions no matter which side of the aisle they fall. Living in Steamboat is not unsustainable in and of itself, just living here sustainably may take a bit more work and sacrifice than it would elsewhere and growing our own food is a part of that equation. It's the post-industrial lifestyle that is unsustainable. Without going back to traditional pre-industrial lifestyle, none of us will be 100% sustainable. I think feeling good about one's self is important and even small things can add up in the big picture.
Help Wanted: Creating a more vibrant and sustainable future.
Community surveys have identified what is important to people here when they make food choices. These include cost, convenience, safety, freshness, nutrition, sustainability, supporting local producers, and supporting local businesses. Local agriculture if done right can accomplish all these goals. It has been proven over the years that Routt can produce really great food. Greens, veggies, some fruit, grains, dairy and meats are all possible. However several obstacles stand in the way of a local food system here.
First is a lack of infrastructure. As the tourism industry rose the ag industry faded and many key pieces of infrastructure fell by the wayside and were replaced by the industrial ag system. Institutional memory of traditional agricultural techniques is close to gone. We produce tons of wheat but there is no mill to turn it in to flour. Livestock is our bread and butter but we have no slaughterhouses to turn it into meat for the local market. There are lots of farmers and aspiring farmers here but no cooperatives to consolidate crops into a reliable local supply or pool equipment and land.
That brings us to the cost of land. At a 1/2 to a million dollars for 35 acres a farmer could never expect to be able to pay for a productive parcel on farm income alone. Add to this a cost of living that makes getting affordable help impractical. Not to mention a short growing season. These factors discourage young aspiring producers from seeing farming as financially sustainable.
There is also the issue of education. Many people aren't aware of the health benefits of eating locally, the health issues that arise out of the industrial model, and that the true cost of cheap food has been externalized leaving the environment, the taxpayers, the lower class, and the third world holding the bill. The education system is also bent on turning our best and brightest into bankers and lawyers and such instead of focusing their talents on our most basic human need, sustenance.
The good news is that these problems are solvable. Where there is a will there is a way and the first step is education. If you care about your health, your community, the environment, and/or the future please take the time to educate yourself on where your food comes from. The next step is involvement. By taking an interest in local food you can become a part of the solution. Then there is action. These problems aren't going to fix themselves. Your actions are what will make a more sustainable food system possible.
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