Luddites, or anti-technology progressives, are placing ballot initiatives before voters to require labeling of genetically modified (GM) products and to limit natural gas fracking.
Just last week, Washington state citizens rejected Initiative 522, which would have required labeling of all GM foods on supermarket shelves by 2015, while in Colorado, three of four communities voted to proceed with restrictions on natural gas fracking.
It has been estimated that both GM farm products and fracking have reduced food and energy costs significantly. It has been estimated that GM products have resulted in a 15%-20% reduction in food costs (http://tinyurl.com/lp9nvsr) and fracking has cut yearly energy costs by $2,000 per household (http://tinyurl.com/nypjkdv).
Furthermore, replacing GM food with traditional farm products damages the environment since non-GM food production requires more pesticides and other chemicals that result in negative impacts on the environment. And, unlike fracking, electricity generation from conventional coal/oil introduces more pollutants into the air than does natural gas electricity production.
Additionally, no studies to-date have demonstrated fracking has negatively affected the environment or ground water. However, data do show the lowest quintile of U.S. earners spend 36% of their income on food and 23% on utilities, while the highest one-fifth of U.S. earners spend only 7% of their income on food and 3% on utilities.
Thus, increases in food or utility costs coming from limiting or stopping GM farming or natural gas fracking will differentially and negatively affect low income families in the U.S. Anti-technology, anti-science Luddites are attempting to push farmers and energy providers back to the techniques and technologies of the last millennium with resultant higher costs to the U.S. consumer and negative environmental impacts. Ernie Goss