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California Votes Down Prop 37: Labeling Of Genetically Modified Food

GMO labeling march

For the most part, the U.S. election was a victory for people who want progress and equality. Unfortunately, that victory did not extend to a California ballot proposing the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food products.

Proposition 37, which called for all GM foods to be labeled accordingly, was designed to be a test for the United States as a whole, but sadly only received 47% of California votes. I’m sure you can take a guess on who spent $45 million campaigning against it – food suppliers such as PepsiCo, Nestle, and everyone’s favorite agribusiness corporation – Monsanto. The “yes” campaign was funded largely by organic food companies.

“Whatever happens tonight, this is a win,” said Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms and co-chair of the Yes on 37 group. “Never before have millions of Californians come together to support giving consumers a choice about genetically engineered foods.”

Approximately 90% of US-grown corn and soybean crops are genetically modified, and the biggest reason for support of this proposition among campaigners is that they simply believe we have the right to know what we are consuming. Isn’t that a no-brainer? Corporate opponents, of course, bring up money and price increases as a reason to vote “no”, which is all many voters need to go against it.

Even if a food product is given the stamp of approval by the Food and Drug Administration, and even if you don’t plan to quit eating something because of the label, is there really a reason to NOT have as much information as possible on what’s going in your body? HOW is it possible to not want to know what you are eating? I guess it is true that ignorance is bliss for many people. Do you think it will be long before we start to see this kind of labeling on our food, or is it a long road ahead?

Image CC licensed by Alexis Baden-Mayer: Right2Know march, Washington DC

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