The Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece out today discussing how “JUNK” science is being used to support and promote California Proposition 37, the food labeling initiative on the November ballot.
Proposition 37, the ballot measure mandating the labeling of genetically modified food that is also known as the “right to know” initiative, is narrowly running ahead of the opposition, according to the latest opinion polls.
But even if the measure goes down — and it’s the target of a $35-million publicity attack by agricultural and food industry interests — the campaign behind it will mark an important milestone in politics: the deployment of weapons-grade junk science.
Of course, ignorance and anti-intellectualism are not new phenomena in our elections, nor in the political processes of other lands, dictatorships and democracies alike. Pseudoscience is part and parcel of corporate advertising in every medium. (“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”)
But where science is at the heart of a campaign, as it is for Proposition 37, the promotion of manifestly shoddy research is especially shameful. That goes double where multibillion-dollar industries, tens of thousands of jobs, and the health and well-being of millions of consumers are at stake.
The fact is that laws that so affect Californians are best handled through the legislative process rather than the initiative – unless there is a clear and purposeful obstruction by the California Legislature.
Testimony and evidence gathered in legislative committees lead to better laws – most of the time.
Proposition 37 goes out of its way to use confusing scientific terms and scare tactics to make its argument for passage of special interest legislation. Legislation that would not otherwise, pass the California Legislature, nor probably be signed by even the most liberal of governors, Jerry Brown.
California Proposition 37 is more than a “right to know” issue. The supporters know this and this is why they are using this method to get their special interests codified into California law.
Here is a video clip with some physician views on genetic engineering and food production and Proposition 37:
Remember, Vote NO on 37.