Kaldveer, Zack


Zack is the new assistant media director for the Yes on Prop 37 campaign.

Why Labels on Genetically Engineered Foods Won't Cost Consumers a Dime

By Zack Kaldveer and Ronnie Cummins

Organic Consumers Association

The biotech industry, led by Monsanto, will soon descend on the state of Washington to try their best to defeat I-522, a citizens' ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Voters should prepare themselves for an onslaught of discredited talking points, nonsensical red herrings, and outright lies designed to convince voters that they shouldn't have the right to know what's in the food they eat.

Prop 37 and Corporate Lies in the Post-Truth Era

By Zack Kaldveer

As a historic vote with profound implications for the future of our food system nears, the question becomes whether a campaign with limitless resources and a disdain for the truth can defeat an overwhelmingly popular idea supported by a grassroots army, and over 3000 public interest organizations: the right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our families.

Poll after poll showed 90% of Americans (and Californians) favored labeling foods that have been genetically engineered (GMOs) and nearly a million signatures were gathered by California volunteers in just 10 weeks - easily qualifying Prop 37 for the ballot. And as of the first week of October, the Yes on 37 campaign enjoyed a 2 to 1 lead in the polls.

Prop 37 Solution to Walmart’s Untested, Unlabeled, Toxin Spliced Corn

By Zack Kaldveer
Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign

As the summer winds down, family barbeques are in full swing and supermarkets are filled with shoppers searching for the right foods to grill up with friends and neighbors.

But do they really know what they’re buying? What they may not know is that Walmart has admitted it will soon start selling agrichemical giant Monsanto’s sweet corn, which has been genetically engineered with an insecticide inside it -- not on the corn, but IN it.

Bt toxin works as an insecticide by disintegrating the lining of insects’ stomachs when they chomp on the corn.  So what is this doing to the bodies of adults or children who eat the corn? We don’t know.

Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods: Whose Side Are You On?

By Zack Kaldveer 
Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign

This November, California voters will have an opportunity to vote on a simple, yet important ballot initiative called Prop 37 – the California Right to Know Act. If approved, it would require food sold in California supermarkets be clearly labeled if it has been genetically engineered.

There is no clearer David versus Goliath fight on this year’s ballot. On one side, is a truly grassroots people’s movement that generated over a million signatures in just 10 weeks, easily qualifying for the November ballot. On the other stands the largest anti-union, pro-pesticide, agrichemical interests in the world dedicated to saying and spending whatever it takes to hide the fact that some of our most important crops are being genetically engineered in a lab without our knowledge or consent.

California’s Fight to Stop Health Insurance Price Gouging and the Single Payer Solution

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

As California families continue to reel from the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression, health insurance premium rates have soared by 153% since 2002, nearly five times the rate of inflation.

Businesses are finding it difficult to pay for these rate hikes, and pass the increased costs on to workers. Business owners and employees are forced to ab­sorb these rising costs or search for less expensive – and less comprehensive – coverage options.

This injustice isn’t so hard to comprehend considering only four insurance companies control 71% of the California market - setting premiums behind closed doors and without accountability.

Scoring the California Legislature: Who Stood With Consumers In 2011?

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

The Consumer Federation of California (CFC) released its 2011 Scorecard for State lawmakers today. The scorecard rates legislators on their votes cast on key consumer rights bills, including banning the sale of expired baby food and over-the-counter medicine, establishing a universal, "Medicare for All" health insurance program, prohibiting a prospective employer from using consumer credit reports in the hiring process, authorizing the Department of Insurance or Department of Managed Health Care to approve, modify or reject proposed health insurance or HMO premium rate increases, banning toxic bisphenol A (BPA) above safe levels from containers of food and beverages intended for consumption by children age three or younger, requiring development of a new smolder resistance standard, and enabling California consumers to purchase furniture that is not filled with toxic flame retardant chemicals, among others.

The Patriot Act and the Quiet Death of the US Bill of Rights

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

With the stroke of an autopen from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the once articulate critic of the Patriot Act signed a four year extension of the most dangerous assault on American civil liberties in US history without a single additional privacy protection.

One would think that this reauthorization would have incited vigorous debate in the halls of Congress and at least a fraction of the breathless 24/7 media coverage allotted the Anthony Weiner “sexting” scandal. Instead, three weeks ago the House (250 to 153) and Senate (72 to 23) approved, and the President signed, an extension of this landmark attack on the Bill of Rights with little notice and even less debate.

Scoring the California Legislature: Who Stood With Consumers In 2010?

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

The Consumer Federation of California released its 2010 Scorecard for State lawmakers today. The scorecard rates legislators on their votes cast on key consumer rights bills.

State Assembly members and Senators were evaluated on a number of issues, including prohibiting private for-profit post-secondary schools from making false job placement claims to prospective students, requiring lenders to provide mortgage modification information BEFORE initiating foreclosure proceedings, establishing a universal, government run health insurance program, prohibiting the manufacture or sale for use by infants or toddlers of food containers that contain bisphenol A (a toxic chemical), requiring large manufacturers and retailers to disclose their efforts to eliminate human trafficking, and prohibiting a retailer from charging a fee for debit card purchases, among others.

A Hobson’s Holiday Travel Choice: Digital Strip Search or Get Groped?

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

By now most everyone has heard of, or been violated by, the latest anti-terror security “savior” called “Whole-Body-Imaging”. To those that prefer a more accurate and informative description of the new technology, let’s call them "digital strip search machines". These full-body airport scanners use one of two technologies - millimeter wave sensors or backscatter x-rays - to see through clothing, producing images of ghost white naked passengers. And they’re coming to an airport near you.

Ensuring Compliance: The Opt-Out “Choice”

For those that feel uncomfortable being viewed essentially nude by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents simply to visit your family this Thanksgiving, you can always opt-out. But this “choice” only leads to yet another violation of privacy: a recently announced policy of more aggressive “pat downs” of those that choose to forgo the scanners.

CFC's November Ballot Recs: Corporate Interests vs. The Public Good

By Zack Kaldveer
Consumer Federation of California

The June defeat of Propositions 16 and 17 was welcomed news for Californians fed up with the use of the initiative process to advance narrow corporate interests. The lavish spending by PG&E ($46 million on Prop 16) and Mercury Insurance ($17 million on Prop 17) to increase their bottom lines at the public's expense only confirmed voters’ suspicions that greed was the real motivating factor behind those measures. Despite PG&E outspending opponents 575 to 1, and Mercury Insurance its opposition 12 to 1, a slim majority of voters saw through the pitch these snake oil salesmen were making, rejecting each by a margin of 4 to 5 points.

Unfortunately for California, June's election results have not served as the deterrent  some may have hoped. November brings a new crop of initiatives bankrolled by  some of our nation's most notorious polluters and corporate bad actors. Similarly, initiatives placed on the ballot to benefit the public will face the typical wall of opposition from big business interests willing to spend tens of millions of dollars on slick and deceptive campaigns with a singular purpose: mislead the voters.