From the press release:
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny yesterday rejected arguments made by the Yes on 37 campaign seeking to strike language from the official Prop. 37 Ballot Label, Title & Summary and Legislative Analysts’ (LAO) Analysis concluding that Prop 37 could prohibit processed foods without genetically engineered (GE) ingredients from being marketed or labeled as “natural”.
Yes on 37 argued that Prop. 37’s provisions restricting the use of the word “natural” apply only to processed foods with GE ingredients.
Yesterday’s ruling is a blow to the Yes on 37 campaign. It means that the State Attorney General, independent Legislative Analyst, and now the courts all disagree with Yes on 37’s interpretation of the measure.
In final ballot materials made public last month, the Attorney General’s official Ballot Label and Title & Summary, as well as the LAO Analysis, each included reference that Prop. 37 could be interpreted by the courts as a ban on processed foods without GE from using “natural” in their labeling. This position is consistent with No on 37’s reading of the flawed ballot measure which can be found here.
Judge Kenny completely rejected Yes on 37’s requested changes to the Prop. 37 Ballot Label and Title & Summary. Both remain unchanged and can be found here.
While Judge Kenny did order a small change to the LAO write up of Prop. 37, the language still will highlight Prop 37’s restriction on marketing non-GE processed foods as natural. The revised LAO section on the “natural” provision reads like this:“Given the way the measure is written, there is a possibility that these restrictions would be interpreted by the courts to apply to some processed foods regardless of whether they are genetically engineered.”
“The inability to market our non-GE processed products as natural could harm family farmers and our competitiveness,” said Jamie Johansson, an Oroville farmer who grows olives to make olive oil. Mr. Johansson is also second vice president of the California Farm Bureau Federation “This is a serious flaw in Prop. 37. And the court’s ruling means state ballot materials will remain accurate and truthful.”
There is little doubt that California Proposition 37 is a “flawed” and poorly written measure the benefits only the proponents – certain law firms and organic food growers.
This measure has very little benefit to California voters/consumers while hurting California farmers by increasing their costs unnecessarily.
Californians should reject Proposition 37.