The tang of fall is in the air, bringing to mind the autumnal seasons of my childhood when I looked forward to Hallowe’en festivities for weeks before their arrival. Wielding blunt little scissors, I cut out construction paper decorations for my family’s big front window, planned my costume with serious deliberation and clapped with delight when my mother would fill a small bowl with those seasonal Hershey’s miniature chocolate bars on the kitchen table. Dibs on the Krackel Bars – my decided personal favorites!
But in 2012, this last tradition isn’t one I’d want to share with today’s little children in America, because of the Hershey Corporation’s decision to spend nearly $400,000 to keep genetically modified organisms hidden in their American products.
Hershey supplies non-GMO sweets to lucky European children whose parents have refused to let these unwanted ingredients into their countries’ food supplies, but thanks to deals between corporations and the U.S. government, Americans have intentionally been kept in the dark about the presence of GMOs in our food.
Hershey is capable of switching out genetically modified sugar and soy ingredients for non-contaminated ones – they have had to do so in order to do business in Europe, but they want to take cheap shortcuts because they can get away with it in America. Unfortunately, it will be trick-or-treaters in the United States who will pick up the spooky tab for this trick in their Hallowe’en pillowcases, pumpkins and bags this year when neighbors hand out Hershey’s candy.
Why spooky? Because independent studies (not funded by the GMO manufacturers) find that genetically modified food damages the kidneys and livers of mammals and could lead to chronic disease. The only parties claiming that GMOs are safe for human consumption are the ones who are making money off of creating and marketing them. So many countries have banned GMOs, making the U.S. look like we’ve fallen asleep at the wheel. Until now.
In California, on the November 2012 ballot, residents will have the chance to vote in favor of the landmark, world-changing Proposition 37. If you live in California, this will probably be the most important vote you will ever make in your life, because it all boils down to whether we will have something real to eat in the future or not. No food, no life, right? You can’t get down to more basic basics than that.
And the GMO machine is already roaring to life, pouring millions into anti-Prop 37 marketing to protect their ability to continue to hide these unwanted organisms in American food. If this incredible proposition passes, a miraculous change will take place from coast to coast because 70% of the food in U.S. supermarkets will either have to have that skull-and-crossbones ‘Contains GMOs’ label on their packaging…or, source their ingredients from non-GMO farmers. Your Yes vote on Prop 37 will literally change the world.
But let’s whittle this back down to one simple act…back down to Hallowe’en and the kindly act of treating your little princess or pirate to a piece of candy. If you’ve bought that candy from Hershey’s you are putting money in the pockets of a corporation that wants to smack down Prop 37 and keep us in the dark about what is in their candy. Talk about a nasty trick.
You probably remember your own childhood Hallowe’ens vividly. Every year, our parents would tell us not to take unwrapped candy, not to take weird-looking candy. They would have us pour out our sack of goodies for close inspection before we were allowed to eat a single piece. I remember being frightened each year by rumors that bad, crazy people might put poison or other terrible things in Hallowe’en candy. Do you remember that? My parents made it really clear to me that they needed to approve all my candy before I took one bite and I’m sure you do the same for your kids now.
You can’t control what neighbors will be giving out for Hallowe’en candy. But you will be inspecting that candy before your kids eat it. And you do have a choice about what candy you pass out at your own front door. What an opportunity this is to let Hershey’s know that, because of their funding and use of GMOs, you won’t be buying those miniatures and a host of other Hershey’s candy items this Hallowe’en including Mounds, Reese’s, Kit Kats, Almond Joys, York Peppermint Patties and so much more. Here is a list of all of Hershey’s products so you will know how to avoid them when shopping for Hallowe’en candy this year.
And you can go a step further! Tell Hershey’s you want your American children to be treated with the same consideration as those in Europe.
Call the Hershey Corporation at 1(800) 468-1714 to let them know this really matters to you.
You can also contact them via their contact page.
Since 1894, Hershey has traded on a family-friendly label. Let them prove their friendliness now. Because of the presence of GMOs in American Hershey candy, those chocolate bars you ate as a kid in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are not the same as the ones on the shelves today. You’d need to have your candy flown over to you from Europe for that. If Hershey’s can do it for Europe, I know they can do it here, and in fact, Hershey’s even owns an organic chocolate company – Dagoba – which proves they can manufacture non-GMO candy right here in the USA. They just need to be convinced that American consumers won’t buy their GMO products. Hallowe’en is a great place to start.
Let Hershey’s know you want treats – not GMO tricks – for Hallowe’en.