Prop. 37, California's GMO-Labeling Law, Gaining Momentum
This is an exciting time to be reporting on food policy because one ballot initiative in particular is making more head way than over before. California's Prop 37 not only made it on the ballot after nearly a million people signed the petition, it’s gaining more and more momentum everyday. Consumers may finally know what they’re buying like they do in every other industrialized nation in the world.
In Europe all products containing more than .9 percent GMO are labeled as such. But in the US, there is no such standard. We would like to believe that our foods come from nature, but that's far from the case. Currently, 30 other countries have GMO labeling or significant restrictions placed on GMOs.
The Bill Defined
According to Ballotpedia, if Proposition 37 is approved by voters, it will:
-Require labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if the food is made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
-Prohibit labeling or advertising such food as "natural."
-Exempt from this requirement foods that are "certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages."
James Wheaton, who filed the ballot language for the initiative, refers to it as "The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act."
Big Bucks in Opposition
Monsanto has spent over $7 million to defeat the measure and E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. has spent almost $5 million. All in all the opposition has spent over $35 million to defeat the bill while supporters have spent only $7.7 million.
Polls vary on the subject, but an LA Times poll found 61 percent in favor of the bill, 25 percent opposed, and 14 percent undecided.