Monday, September 8, 2014

James Hinton: Napa Valley's anti-GMO candidate

Brandon Turbeville
August 28, 2014
Napa Valley Register

After years of leading the charge against genetically modified (GM) food, California now has its own anti-GMO/pro-organic political candidate. James Hinton, an independent running for California’s U.S. House District 5, has come out strong against the proliferation of GM food in the U.S. food supply as well as in the environment. Hinton has also taken a strong stand in favor of GMO labeling.

Hinton has received an impressive amount of support already, despite running against an opponent who is a career politician with a sizable campaign purse. Hinton has amassed endorsements from a variety of organizations from the NRA to the Tax Wall Street Party, but, even more important, he has received the endorsement of California voters.

Hinton has already survived the California primary and received enough votes to be the only candidate facing Democrat Mike Thompson in the general election. There have been anti-GMO candidates in the past — in California and elsewhere — but Hinton’s campaign appears to be the most promising.

While Hinton would prefer to see a world free of GMOs, he is also aware of the practical limitations to that goal in the current political climate. This is why Hinton has stated his full support behind labeling efforts.
Hinton supports labeling on the grounds that consumers have a right to know what is in their food and how that food is produced.

“I support mandatory labeling of products that are genetically modified and those that contain genetically modified ingredients,” he said. “People have the right to know whether or not their food was produced using GMOs. Otherwise, how can they make the decision to avoid them? You cannot make an informed decision if you were never informed to begin with.”

Yet, labeling is only the first step for Hinton. The independent candidate also favors more radical action such as the removal of all government farming subsidies from operations producing genetically modified food. Hinton also proposes an outright ban on GMO cultivation.

While Hinton is not opposed to the cultivation of GM crops in a controlled environment for scientific research, he has taken a firm stance on the cultivation of these crops as a food source for humans and animals. Aside from the fact that GMOs are dangerous to human and animal health, the fact is that genetically modified crops are an environmental contaminant.

Hinton stresses that GM crops are well-known to contaminate natural crops and replicate throughout the ecosystem, and are capable of altering the natural environment forever. This is why Hinton is opposed to GMO cultivation.

On the other hand, Hinton is a full supporter of local, organic, and sustainable agriculture. While Hinton seeks to remove subsidies for massive corporate operations that produce toxic genetically modified food, he also seeks to encourage and promote the production of healthy, clean, organic crops. Hinton states that he will achieve this goal by a two-pronged approach involving parity pricing and credit extension.

Hinton would first extend and increase parity pricing to local, organic, traditional, and sustainable farming operations so that these farmers would be able to support themselves and profit by their own labor. Parity essentially guarantees that these farmers will not spend more money producing their crops than they take in at the end of the year.

Secondly, Hinton would extend 0 percent interest credit from a nationalized Federal Reserve (another platform position) to bolster “natural” farming operations already in existence and to encourage the creation and expansion of new “natural” farms.

Thus, in stark contrast to his opponent, Thompson, who voted for the “Monsanto Protection Act,” Hinton is one of the few serious political candidates to take such a strong stance against the proliferation of GM food.

Hinton’s own personal story related to genetically modified food and natural health is interesting as well. Hinton was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis some time ago, a disease for which no known medical cure exists. In May 2013, Hinton was informed by his doctors that he possibly had cancer.

After a great deal of research and intense effort on his part, Hinton began a regimen of natural remedies and a strict diet of non-GMO, organic foods. Hinton says that, after his application of allopathic medicine, natural medicine and natural food, his health made a 180- degree turn for the better. He now feels better than ever and, after a few months, was diagnosed as being cancer-free.

Hinton is running for the 5th District of the U.S. House of Representatives in California which includes Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, Martinez and Clearlake. Voting will take place on November 4, 2014. His website is

Turbeville lives in Florence, South Carolina.

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