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CA Prop. 37 – GMO Labeling Initiative

There is a lot of buzz about Proposition 37 on the ballot in California this November.  It is known as The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act which would require labels on all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). [1]  Learn more about the harmful effects of Genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Organisms (GE & GMO) in your food here.  The new law would require all California-based food producers, such as Nestle, Driscoll’s, Dole and Kashi, and is likely to change how food is labeled throughout the nation.

In addition to large food corporations, big chemical companies such as Dupont and Monsanto are also funneling money in opposition to GMO labeling requirements.  Monsanto manufactures chemical-based products such as Round-up pesticide and herbicide and currently monopolizes America’s seed market – seeds that are genetically engineered and make up a large percentage of America’s agriculture.  Many large food and agricultural corporations are also heavily backing opposition by spinning the truth of what the measure entails and what it would mean for them rather than the consumer.

Big Donors against prop. 37 include: [2]

Kellogg: owns Kashi, Gardenburger & Morningstar Farms; contributed over $600,000

PepsiCo: owns Naked Juice; contributed $1.7 million

CocaCola: owns Honest Tea, Odwalla & Simply Orange; contributed $1 million

Dean Foods: owns Silk, Horizon Organic, Alta Dena, Land O’Lakes and others; contributed over $250,000

General Mills: owns Cascadian Farm, Larabar & Muir Glen; contributed over $500,000

Smucker: owns Santa Cruz Organics & R.W. Knudsen; contributed almost $400,000

See more big backers here. [3]

Advocates against hunger, and those who deny that herbicides, pesticides and genetically engineered foods are harmful, may not see the need for labeling, but America can’t even give its genetically modified crops away. [3]  Public Health Attorney Michele Simon recently wrote: “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not even require safety studies of genetically engineered foods” [4]  Besides, the FDA can’t be trusted since it was heavily lobbied by Monsanto who spends millions of dollars every year to weaken regulation on genetically modified crops. [5]

Get involved – Take action! at CA right to know/Yes prop 37 (click for more info)

……….

Summary of The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act:

Section 1:

“California consumers have the right to know whether the foods they purchase were produced using genetic engineering.”

“(G)enetic engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods and introduce new toxicants and health concerns.”

Currently there is “No federal or California law requires that food producers identify whether foods were produced using genetic engineering.”

“90 percent of the public want to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering.”

“Fifty countries-including the European Union member states, Japan and other key U.S. trading partners-have laws mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods.”

“Without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered food can unknowingly violate their own dietary and religious restrictions.”

“The cultivation of genetically engineered crops can also cause serious impacts to the environment.” “…toxic herbicides damage our agricultural areas, impair our drinking water, and pose health risks to farm workers and consumers.”

“The labeling, advertising and marketing of genetically engineered foods using terms such as “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” or “all natural” is misleading to California consumers.”

Section 2:

“The purpose of this measure is to create and enforce the fundamental right of the people of California to be fully informed about whether the food they purchase and eat is genetically engineered and not misbranded as natural so that they can choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such foods.”

Section 3 defines terms such as “processed food” and “genetically engineered”.

Sections 4-10 describes the enforcement of the measure, and the legalities of misbranding and severability.

[1] http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/08/21/california-gmo-food-labeling-vote

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-robbins/prop-37_b_1821633.html

[3] http://organicconsumersfund.org/label/prop-37-funders.cfm

[4] http://www.saynotogmos.org/global_south2.htm) GM crops actually exacerbate the inequality that causes famine. 

[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-simon/top-10-lies-told-by-monsa_b_1819731.html

[6] http://naturalsociety.com/exposing-monsantos-financial-interest-in-government/ 

[7] http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i1044_11-0099_%28genetically_engineered_food_v2%29.pdf

video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szq2GFYktG8

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