Freedom to Flack

SUBHEAD: In America we've been taught to think we are free. Free to buy whatever the flacks tell us to buy.

By Juan Wilson on 12 March 2015 for Island Breath -

Image above: Slightly modified detail of cover of book "Toxic Sludge is Good For You". From (

Two recent articles in the Garden Island News caught my attention in the last couple of days. One was an article on Monday titled "GMOs and the right to know" by Chris D'Angelo. He opens with
"Some, including the Department of Health, say a state law requiring genetically engineered foods to be labeled would be costly, and the task of making sure a food has or doesn’t have such traits is next to impossible."
The DOH says it would take millions of dollars of equipment and training to guarantee the DNA content of any food as GMO free. I wonder when the last time the Hawaii DOH did a molecular analysis of the ingredients of anything. According to the movie "Food Inc." the modern American supermarket has on average 47,000 products.

I can't quite see the DOH having the capability or responsibility of analyzing 47K products for truth in packaging. I mean getting in there and determining the molecular/chemical breakdown of everything from a carton Coffeemate Sugar Free French Vanilla dairy creamer to a bag of Lay's Wasabe Ginger Kettle Cooked potato-chips to dsee if the listed ingredients matched the what was in the product?
Creamer Ingredients: from Walmart
Water, Coconut Oil, Maltodextrin, Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative)**, Sugar, Mono- And Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium (Non-Nutritive Sweetner), Artificial Colors. Contains Milk Derivatives. **Not A Source of Lactose.
Chips Ingredients: from Walmart
Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Corn, And/Or Canola Oil), Wasabi Ginger Seasoning (Sugar, Maltodextrin [Made from Corn], Brown Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce [Soybeans, Wheat, Salt], Spices [Including Ginger], Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Gum Arabic, Yeast Extract, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Caramel Color, Horseradish, Sunflower Oil, And Wasabi). Contains Wheat And Soy Ingredients.

By the way, if you are looking for specs on packaged food check out They often identify if a product is GMO free and they seem to list ingredients consistently.

My point is that all the public has voted to see is what the food processing companies say is in their packages. They do it now for everything imaginable down to fractions of a percent of contents. Why not tell us if there is genetically modified organisms in our food? I'll tell you why - sales of those products might go down in favor of products not genetically modified.

Moreover, once one a major state (read California) enacts a GMO labeling law the food processing corporations will have to decide if they are going to produce unique labels for only one state's requirement or just bite the bullet and go national. It's really all or nothing for those using GMO ingredients.

For many people it's not even the idea of DNA manipulation so much as the necessary application of pesticides (read RoundUp) to the plants so that they can grow.

The whining and bitching by the DOH representative sounds like the work done by flacks for the big-ag GMO companies. And maybe one day they will be lucky enough to qualify as professional flacks.

Our public servants do have access to the spoils through the corporate revolving door: Note West Hawaii Today reports longtime Kauai County spokewoman Beth Tokioka is going to join Syngenta later this month. It tells you which side her bread was buttered on.

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