Every election cycle California comes up with a proposition that gets the attention of the entire Country. While the California proposition system can be a confusing and convoluted one, I like to solidify my vote based on who is funding for and against. For this information I found KCET’s Proposition 2012 Cheat Sheet. This brings me to Proposition 37:
Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling Initiative. Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants and animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.” Provides exemptions.
62 other countries (even China) require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. So why is America so far behind on food transparency? Money!
Clearing up the misinformation campaign
No on Prop 37 campaign claims – “Grocery costs will rise $400 per year.”
Manufacturers change their labels all of the time. Back in 1995 when the industry was required to add revised nutrition facts label food prices did not increase. The industry went kicking and screaming all the way to the printing press just to unnecessarily scare the US consumer.
“There has never been a documented report that genetic modification labeling has led to a cost increase in food anywhere.” – Professor Chris Viljoen, GMO Testing Lab, University of the Free State, South Africa
“We, as with most manufacturers, are continually updating our packaging. It is a regular cost of doing business – a small one at that – and is already built into the price consumers pay for products.” – Arran Stephens, President and Founder Nature’s Path
No on Prop 37 campaign claims – “Special interest exemptions that don’t make sense. Soy milk is covered but cow’s milk is exempt. Dog food with meat requires a label, but meat for human consumption is exempt. Dairy, eggs, meat and poultry are all exempt. Food sold in a grocery store is covered, but the same exact food sold in a restaurant food is exempt.”
Alcoholic beverages, food produced specifically for medical conditions, livestock fed GMOs but not themselves genetically modified and food served in restaurants are all regulated under separate sections of California law or are subject to special federal laws. Organic foods are exempted because by federal law they already cannot be genetically modified. Therefore, labeling of those subject areas will need separate legislation in the future.
California law only allows ballot measures to address a single issue/modify a single area of the law per proposition. – “No initiative measure addressing more than one subject area may be submitted to the voters or have any effect.” (Cal. Const., art. II, §§ 8(d) and 12.)
Whether we win this fight or not, please support the companies that support our right to know what is in our food. We must have our food labeled or we might as well be labeled as Lab Rats or Guinea Pigs. Please exercise our right to vote, we can make a difference for the entire Country, as California goes, so goes the nation – GreenUp! Guy