Monsanto’s Halloween: GMO Tricks and Treats

by Juliana White

As a mother, I have wondered for a long time about the hyped scares around Halloween treats – razors in apples, for example.  They seemed just the finest means to get parents to buy industrial candy and avoid all the nice homemade things the neighbors made for kids – popcorn balls, fudge,  cookies, etc.

Halloween used to be a yearly expression of love from neighbors, and a time of great delight in all the cute neighborhood kids.

Media kicked the tar out of that.  They created fear of neighbors and fear of homemade food and handed Halloween over to the processed food companies.  Entirely unreasonable fear of our own neighbors has made the companies a fortune.

Perhaps reasonable fear will change that now.  Because almost all of the candy sold for Halloween is made from either high-fructose Monsanto’s GMO corn syrup or Monsanto’s GMO sugar, and Monsanto’s GMOs are not something any child should be eating.

Whether one looks at Arpad Pusztai’s work on GMO potatoes showing greatly shrunken organs in test animals, or at Don Huber’s work on the infertility and spontaneous abortions in farm animals forced to eat it, or at Carrasco’s work on Round-up pesticide used to grow GMOs and the severe birth defects he found, or at a Irina Ermakova’s study showing GMO soy sterilized the hamsters who ate it, or at Seralini’s work on that same pesticide and its destruction of human umbilical cells, or his work showing a huge increase in mammary tumors and other cancers in rats, or at a study showing that Bt-pesticide is showing up in the blood of pregnant women and fetuses, it doesn’t matter.  We mothers get the drift.  GMOs grown with Roundup are not something for our children to eat.

Halloween is a holiday that about children seeking out sugar treats.  But the sugars and sweeteners are now made with toxic GMOs and Roundup.  In this way, GMOs and Roundup have become a central part of a neighborhood holiday that celebrates children!  Monsanto has taken over Halloween

But mothers and fathers are getting it that GMOs are not something to buy to hand out to local children, or not something to have one’s own child eat or bring home.

In California, people are very seriously working to get GMOs labeled (by voting YES on prop 37!) so people have a means to know if GMOs are in their food and can avoid them.  They are asking:  If GMO foods really are safe, why are these chemical companies shelling out so much money to make sure these GMO foods don’t get labeled?

Families can support California for taking the lead on this for the rest of us, by refusing to buy any candy that contains GMOs, which means any that contain soy, sugar, corn or canola.  (That includes “vegetable oil” which,  unless it is labeled organic, comes from either corn or soy or canola.)

Interestingly, in rejecting GMOs, we’d be reclaiming Halloween from the corporations in general, and as a true neighborhood event again.  We can begin to go back to making inexpensive treats, whether a little bag of home-made popcorn with a cute Halloween sticker or kids’ drawings on it, or cookies or cookie bars, or fruit and nuts, or home-made candy.  With organic ingredients, we can make it fun and healthy.  But as we try to buy ingredients without corn, soy, canola or sugar (“cane sugar” is still okay), how deeply our food has been corrupted.  Even if many mothers can’t find organic ingredients in their area, just waking up to that would make the effort to transform Halloween, valuable.

American mothers’ can take a first step this Halloween toward turning our backs on GMOs and all the other health-damaging things the giant corporate food companies have done to our children and families, and even to our trust in each other.  At a time when food corporations are spending billions in California to keep GMOs from being labeled and prevent us from knowing what is in our children’s food, it’s time to rethink who has really put dangerous things into Halloween candy and who we should fear.

In making treats for the neighborhood children, we reclaim the holiday with our own children as a family activity and holiday rather than a profit bonanza for corporate food giants selling toxic products they will not label.  We protect our children and other children’s health, and we rebuild our community connections.

Halloween is supposed to be about neighborhood fun and mock scariness.  Monsanto’s GMOs and Roundup are not fun.  They are about toxins in children’s blood, severe birth defects, cancers, and illnesses of many kinds.  Monsanto’s Agent Orange is still poisoning children in Vietnam decades after Monsanto had claimed it was safe.  Monsanto products are the basic “sweetening” element in Halloween candy.  That is truly scary.

Time for mothers to get real monsters out of Halloween.

Mothers and fathers, as they go door to door with their children in California, might carry a note to the other mothers and fathers, asking them to vote Yes on Prop 37, so we can know what is in our children’s food.  That is a necessary step to get Monsanto out of it.