In honor of last week's World Food Day, a group of local activists gathered Saturday at Hollywood's Yellow Green Market. The group gathered together to show support for an initiative, Propostion 37, that will appear on the November ballot in California. Food activists nationwide are pushing an effort to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, a.k.a. GMOs. California is the first state where the proposal has made it to the ballot.
The rally featured guest speakers, live music, raffles, and booths. Clean Plate Charlie caught up with some of the participants involved.
- World Food Day Today (October 16): GMO Protest at Yellow Green Market
- Keep Your Frankenfood Outta My Publix (or at Least Label it, Please): Protestors Rally Against Genetically Modified Foods
Throughout the day, the event garnered a small, but steady crowd. People sat and watched bands and speakers. Volunteers passed around pamphlets and brochures, educating the public of the issues relating to GMOs. Some people say that technological advances will help us feed a growing world population; others counter that the potential dangers of genetically modified food outweigh the risks, and that huge biotech firms are profiting at the expense of human health. Whether by chance or in support of the rally, the Yellow Green Market saw an extra 400 people than on a normal Saturday afternoon.
According to Trish Sheldon of GMO Free Florida, "we reached a lot of people who weren't aware of the issues. They took pamphlets and signed petitions. We got donations for Prop. 37, which is important because if it wins in November, it will pave the way for other states. And the bands were amazing."
Alyse Opatowski of Food & Water Watch concurred. "I think it was really good. A lot of people came throughout the day. Some were just coming for the music, but they ended up learning about the issue. And, of course, many of the people out here really care and want to keep working on this bill."
Sheldon and Opatowski's organizations have been working to get local sponsorship on a Florida bill requiring mandatory labeling. Both GMO Free Florida and Food & Water Watch have been urging Florida State Senator Eleanor Sobel to champion a bill. At the moment, they are following up with the senator.
After all expenses were paid, the rally brought in $150 in donations to support Prop 37. For now, the groups will continue to make calls for Prop 37, keep calling Senator Sobel, secure remaining teams across the state, and move ahead with the coalition of states supporting the bill. Sheldon is currently working on a group screening of Genetic Roulette at BM Organics next month. For more information, check out Food & Water Watch Florida's facebook page. Or the page for GMO Free Florida here.
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