In a huge win for consumers, the California Office of Secretary of State announced the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, also known as the GMO labeling initiative. It will appear as Proposition 37 in the November 6 elections, as reported on Food Safety News.
If the bill passes, California will be the first state in the nation to require labeling of foods that include genetically modified ingredients much to the dismay of most large scale food and GMO seed manufacturers.
Playing Catch Up
We are one of the few industrialized nations that doesn't require labeling of GMO foods. In Europe all products containing more than .9 percent GMO are labeled as such. China and Japan also require labeling. 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.
Polls suggest that 90 percent of California consumers support such a bill. According to LabelGMOs.org, after 10 weeks and 971,126 signatures (quite a bit of blood, sweat, and tears) they’ve made it on the ballot and now it’s time for Californians to stand up for their right to know.
It's Go Time
According to LabelGMOS.org:
Because over 90% of us want our foods labeled. We believe our right to know what we are buying and feeding ourselves and our kids supersedes corporate rights to a nontransparent profit. We are tired of elected officials buckling to corporate pressure over the clear desires of us, their constituents. We are outraged that we don't have the same right that over 40% of the world's population has: A clear, transparent market with genetically engineered ingredients disclosed in a simple, easy to read way.
There's no shortage of reasons why GMO labeling is necessary. It's about giving the American public the tools to make their own decisions without fears that true food safety is being held hostage by a lack of necessary information. The detrimental impact that GMO cultivation has on our environment is widespread including creating dead zones where biodiversity is all but abolished and the contamination of heirloom and organic seeds with GMO varieties.