GMO Food

Portland Alt-Weekly: Vote No on GMO Labeling! Will Wonders Never Cease?


CarbonNYC [in SF!] / photo on flickr

Sanity has broken out at foodie hipster ground zero: The Portland Mercury is urging its readers to vote no on a ballot measure which would require labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The editorial is framed by a bunch of we-swear-we're-not-evil positioning, including calling Monsanto and Coca-Cola "shadowy multinational corporations" and declaring that "industrial farming" is "problematic."

But then there's this spot-on analysis of what such initiatives are really about:

And yet, after much debate, we're coming down just on the "no" side of this issue.

The essential problem is dishonesty. Measure 92's proponents argue it's all about helping consumers make an informed choice. They insisted in our interview they have no problem with GMOs, and no other motives, ulterior or not, besides the spread of information.

But this campaign—like identical efforts that narrowly failed in California and Washington recently—is quite clearly a bid to get food companies to abandon GMOs, a backdoor attempt at altering our agricultural landscape.

See, the science we possess on GMOs indicates they're almost certainly safe to eat. Indeed, the Yes on 92 representatives who attended our endorsement interview acknowledged purchasing and eating GMO products all the time. But there's a clear motive for wanting "conspicuous" labeling on those foods, and it's not to remind consumers that GMOs are harmless. Without sufficient context, a label is likely to sow doubt or apprehension in shoppers who assume it's a warning, and that there's a reason they should be warned….

There are more straightforward ways of trying to change America's problematic farming trends than a labeling measure that takes pains to protest it's not actually out to do that.

The paper also notes that there are already foods available with reliable GMO-free labeling for customers who feel strongly about restricting their own consumption, rather than focusing on what other people buy and sell.

The Mercury is practically establishing a pattern here (a trend of two, anyway) since it took a bold stance in favor of floridated water this spring.


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  1. Give me a product that says, “Now with more GMOs.” Nature has been trying and succeeding at killing us for a long, long time. Perhaps it’s time we started altering the deal.

    1. “Pray I don’t alter it further”

      /Vader off

    2. “Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing?! Well, I say, hard cheese.”

      1. “We have the tools, and we have the talent.”

        Even for the very religious, it’s clear that God handed us the tools and talent to overcome at least some of the shit nature piles on us.

        What makes no sense are people who don’t view the world as it is as divinely ordained advocating submission to nature.

        1. I’m pretty sure Jesus was a carpenter, which was high technology in an era of riding around on assets and living in shacks. He was a veritable genetic biologist of his time!

          1. asses*

            1. Who used nsing nuclear fusion to transmute hydrogen and oxygen into a complex chemical solution including a significant amount of ethyl alcohol.

      2. You may remember me from such documentaries as Man vs. Nature: The Road to Victory.

    3. Florida is probably the best place in the country for non-GMO food. Between all the alligator and python meat you eat, you probably have no room in your stomach for OH NOES FRANKENFOOD.

      1. Being closer to the sun than most states, we receive more radiation and, therefore, have a higher mutation rate. This explains everything you need to know about Florida.

        1. Actually I’d like to know why so many people move here from up north then bitch about how shitty they think it is.

      2. * takes another bite of Spam? and Velveeta? on Wonder Bread? sammich *

        1. So, you know of the Cheese that Cannot Die.

          Those are merely chemically altered products, not genetically modified. It’s okay to eat those. Here, have some melted polymer.

          1. Mmmmm…polymer string cheese.

            1. 3-D printed by hand. Artisan polymer string cheese, tie-dyed with industrial dyes.

        2. You forgot the Pimientos on that Sandwich de Mezcla.

          Sandwich de Mezcla is a party staple in Puerto Rico containing Velveeta, Spam, and pimientos between two slices of Wonder Bread.

          –Wikipedia article on SPAM.

          1. WTF with these islands and their love of crappy pseudo food?

            1. Local agriculture is inadequate to support the population so they become dependent on imported staples, which in the days prior to cheap reefer transport involved canned/long-shelf life stuff.

              And seriously, what kind of Commie tard doesn’t like SPAM?

              1. I fucking hate it, and if that means I’m a communist, then so be it.

              2. Spam is really convenient for pasta carbonara. Make small dice & mix with hot pasta, melted Cheez Wiz, peas, & fried onions.

                1. Optionally also some powdered Romano & paprika on the pasta carbonara.

            2. High cost of importing real food.

              1. I dunno, I had conch salad in Nassau, and it was awesome. And fresh, without any potted meat product.

                1. Sure, but you were a guest and had conch once or twice. Try eating 3 meals a day of it then you’ll beg for spam.

                  1. I like seafood, and they have an ample supply.

            3. Short answer: WW2.

              Same reason the Brits like(d?) it. All three had interrupted economies during WW2 and required protein be shipped in from the US Mainland to support the population. After 4-5 years of it they acquired a taste for it, especially the kids.

          2. More like Sandwich de Sodio.

      3. Have you… been to Florida? Nothing grows naturally in FL except GMOs and alligator. And oysters. Mmmm. Now if they could GMO all oysters to be about as big as my fist….

        1. ALLIGATOR. PYTHON. Did you even read anything I wrote? Of course not, you’re from Florida, you can’t read.

          1. You think those pythons are the same pythons who came over from South America or Asia? nope.

        2. Of course, that’s false. Everything thrives in Florida. It’s stopping life that’s the challenge here.

          We have great produce where I live, which is a good thing.

          1. No you don’t. I have it on good authority that all the arable land in the state is taken up by Disneyworld parking.

            1. That’s a myth. By law, Disney does not actually exist in Florida at all but in an alternative reality.

              1. At this point, it would really be more convenient if Disney became a sovereign state. Copyright could be reduced to something closer to the original intent. We wouldn’t have to put fig-leafs on all sorts of Florida laws.

                1. I like statutes that apply only to enormous theme parks in Central Florida that are laws of general applicability.

                  Fuck the Mouse.

                  1. Like employees being able to store guns in their cars at every employer site except the sole fireworks manufacturer in FL?

                    1. Santore? Something about too close to a magazine?

                  2. [squeaky tiny]Ouch![/tiny squeaky]

                2. They sort of did. They became their own municipality because they exist in two counties and we’re getting jerked around by both.

                  1. Someday, Floridians will throw off the Mouse’s yolk and rise in rebellion, declaring themselves to be subordinate to another theme park, like Busch Gardens.

                    1. Floridians will throw off the Mouse’s yolk and rise in rebellion

                      **puts on Mouse ear hat**

                      “I for one enjoy the yoke of my rodent overlords and denounce this fellow rather than work under Cinderella’s castle.

                    2. Oops, yoke, but maybe yolk works better here, since the Mouse is clearly not a normal rodent.

                      You go right ahead and submit to the most evil corporation in the universe, dude.

                    3. Never mind Cinderella, what happened to Patrick Begorrah? He had a deal with Disneyland, and AFAICT, they welched!

                    4. Yeah right! Ask cypress gardens and silver springs how that worked out. Plus Busch sold out to the belgians

                    5. We used to go to Silver Springs for their very nice Christmas event. Now it is no more, since the state took over.

                    6. I hereby vow eternal allegiance to Weeki Wachee Springs.

                    7. You just want to be a fish fucker, CN.

                    8. “He sleeps with the fishes.”

                    9. What, not Dinosaur World?

                    10. “Gay?! I wish! If I were gay they’d be no problem! No, what I have is a romantic abnormality, one so unbelievable that it must be hidden from the public at all cost!”

                    11. I will back Gatorland. Because I’m sure I’ll be some sort of colonel with a brigade of alligators.

                    12. Airboats are badass. How come the military doesn’t have armored and armed airboats? Kind of like an A-10, but airboat instead of airplane.

                    13. Airboats are badass. How come the military doesn’t have armored and armed airboats?

                      Because the first time they encounter a wave, it will be as incapacitating an obstacle as a flight of stairs is to a Dalek.

                    14. Look, every weapon systems has its limitations. For swamp combat, airboats rule. If we’d had combat airboats in Vietnam, we’d have won.

                      My God, I have it. Airbots. Airboat drones. Fucking pythons are fucked. Get me Governor Scott!

                    15. Look, every weapon systems has its limitations. For swamp combat, airboats rule. If we’d had combat airboats in Vietnam, we’d have won.

                      I trust you’re being ultramegasupersarcastic here.

                    16. I do like the old school attractions. I’m probably the only travel writer in this quadrant of the galaxy never to have visited Disney World. (I did go to a bar at Downtown Disney and met a Disney P.R. guy who claims there’s a traditional monorail-route bar hop for those in the know.)

                    17. Florida has a shitload of those. Even today.

                    18. CN,
                      You could also got to spook hill and the citrus candy factory if you like ironic vacationing.

                    19. Spook Hill is near Bok Tower, which is actually a place I recommend visiting. It’s weirdly high ground for peninsular Florida, and the grounds and the tower are quite nice.

                    20. I went to bok tower, spook hill and the citrus candy factory 3 weeks ago. My wife, who is from California, finds the old Florida attractions bizzarely fun.

                    21. SHELL FACTORY for the win!!!

                    22. You should do the food and wine festival at EPCOT. Lots of beer, wine and tasty food. I’ve never done the monorail crawl but want to. The good thing is you only need to pay for parking because you don’t go in any of the parks, just the resorts.

                    23. We went to that a couple of years ago. It’s pretty pricey, but we had fun. Mexico had like fifty tequilas, so don’t assume “wine” only means wine.

                    24. The best way to go is 2 couples. Then you each get a different food/drink and rotate. If you go again you should try the potato leek waffle in Belgium. Also the Casa beer in morocco. Puerto Rico and the dole stand you can skip.

                    25. How odd. Were you there, too? Because it was my wife and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law. And whatever is left of Jefferson Starship.

      4. Our douchbag dem governor Malloy brags that Connecticut was the first state to adopt GMO labeling standards (no surprise for the super-blue state). But there’s a catch – the law only takes effect if at least four other New England states enact similar laws and the population of those states is at least 20 million.

        Like Imus says, you can’t make this shit up!

        1. if you are a law maker in CT you can… Par for the course for the People’s Republic of Connecticut…

          1. Or, Connecticunts

  2. since it took a bold stance in favor of floridated water this spring.

    *frantically paws through Illuminati deck, looking for “Fiendish Flouridators” card*

    1. You ever seen a Russian drink water, Swiss?

    2. It’s misspelling all the way down.

    3. Fluoridation of the water, Mandrake. Not adding flour to it. That just makes pancakes.

      1. No, it’s correct. They’re injecting Florida into the water.

        They’ll be one of you, soon.

        1. Ground Florida is very potent. Word of advice: Never consume while in the vicinity of a mobile home.

    4. The Iranian Moderates, with transferable power from the Gnomes of Zurich, will attempt to take control of the Fiendish Flouridators.

    5. “floridated water”

      I always said the water in Florida tasted funny.

      1. cuz their Floridiots

  3. Hey how about this idea: food producers who do not include GMOs in their food can label them as such!


    2. How would they know?

  4. Fuck the Morlocks who are terrified of GMOs.

    1. Don’t like modified food? DON’T EAT IT.

  5. I just got back from a vacation there and there were two big news stories (that I bothered to listen to, barely): this GMO nonsense and the incredible folly-after-folly of the OR “first lady”.

  6. +1 Precious Bodily Fluids.

  7. Read the Comments section. Go ahead, I dare you.

    1. If “how much money is ConAgra paying you” isn’t in the top 5, I’ll be shocked.

      1. Close. Monsanto. The number $2.5 million is being bandied about.

        What the fuck is a “bandy,” anyway?

        1. Oh right. I forgot that Monsanto is the stand-in for evil in this play.

        2. It’s a racket. Makes sense both ways.

    2. I’ll take my chances with the Medusan.

    3. I’ve read about half the comments section, and am pleased to note the ratio of

      “Crazy leftish douchebag panicmongers/people who understand science”

      …is comparatively low. and when i say, ‘comparatively’, i mean, relative to something like the Gawker/Salon/Youtube level of progressive dumbass.

      That said = the ones that are screeching in horror are some of the more hardcore-Derptard variety. Many seem to cite the existence of a “Bee/Butterfly holocaust” that has been hushed up by corporate america.

      That, and they get very angry when these issues of “cost” and “yield” are mentioned. because in a *morally pure* society, this money stuff wouldn’t be as important as *feels*

      1. My girlfriend is an ardent Whole Foods shopper. Every item of produce was graded on the morality of the farmer. The highest grade of produce required that the farming done in a butterfly-friendly manner.

        Butterflies: an insect order so barren that specimens can be found only on the continents that have a bit that stays above freezing temperatures year round ie North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

        1. Its like a form of Gastronomic Janism

          They seem to think they can eat foods that emerge from the bosom of mother earth, untainted by any kind of energy loss, human industrial activity, or any form of environmental impact whatsoever.

  8. The paper also notes that there are already foods available with reliable GMO-free labeling for customers who feel strongly about restricting their own consumption, rather than focusing on what other people buy and sell.

    But, if I don’t want to eat genetically-modified food, why should anyone else have the choice? After all, I’ve decided not to and I’m the most moral person I know! Why should I be the only moral person around? Everybody should have to be moral with me, otherwise, being moral is no fun and I won’t have anybody else to agree with about how moral we are!


    “It’s pretty likely” that 2014 will break the record for hottest year, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden.

    Some people, mostly non-scientists, have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years, but “no one’s told the globe that,” Blunden said. She said NOAA records show no pause in warming.

    No one tell NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden about RSS temperature data for the lower troposhere or show her the data from UAH for the last 15 years.

    1. Uhh. NOAA’s data doesn’t show it either. And NOAA is the institution I trust least who has a dataset. Their long-time director staked his whole career on warming and doesn’t strike me as the type of scientist that will let the truth get in the way of his work.

      1. I bet Tom Karl had a particularly pernicious bee in his bonnet when Congress nixed his National Climate Service fiefdom.…..story.html

  10. I agree that banning GMO’s completely would be a serious step in the wrong direction, but we need transparency. I don’t want labels that say GMO’s will kill you, but I do want labels that let me know what foods contain them. 64 countries on 6 continents require it. It allows consumers to make informed choices. That seems reasonable to me.

    1. Then you should petition the producers of non-GMO foods to label their products as being GMO-free, if that’s what is important to you.

      I don’t understand how you can come to the conclusion that it is “reasonable” to use coercion to correct something that you cannot demonstrate is even a problem in the first place.

    2. I want labeling telling me that the food is made by people who are entirely ignorant of genetics and basic science.

      1. I want labeling telling me that the food is made by people who are entirely ignorant of genetics and basic science.

        I think the labeling should only tell you that the company’s target market, are the ones completely ignorant of genetics and basic science.

    3. If non-GMO is really a selling point on products you like to buy, if even a tiny proportion of the market would prefer GMO-free labeling like you then so it shall be. If your idea is really in such demand, then you don’t need to increase the power of the state to make it a reality.

  11. My roomate’s aunt makes $71 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her income was $12021 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    You can try this out. ?????

    1. You misspelled jobphish.

  12. I can’t believe the fucking Koch brothers got to them!

  13. “Fluoridating water”

    This is a libertarian mission? I thought government -run water treatment plants, garbage collection, and sewage treatment plants were all verboten. People that clean up your poop, make sure your water is safe and take out your trash are lazy government worker leeches. Why should our tax dollars go to ensuring that the water we drink isn’t full of pathogens and/or PCBs. I really don’t think you know what a libertarian is. As Darth Vader once said: “I find your lack of faith troubling”

    1. Get ’em!

      You show those strawmen in your head who’s boss!

      1. Bwaaahahaha… shooting fish in a barrel.

    2. american socialist|10.21.14 @ 4:26PM|#
      …”I thought government -run water treatment plants, garbage collection, and sewage treatment plants were all verboten.”

      Hi, dipshit!
      More lies from that asshole supporter of mass murder!

  14. I agree with “GMO – it’s your right to know”. More precisely: if it doesn’t say that it is “GMO free”, assume that it contains GMO.

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