California Proposition 37

California Proposition 37: I Have a Right to Know

From the Yes on 37 website

Yes, and Californians also have the RIGHT to be stupid.

California Proposition 37 is one of those stupid moments. Let’s look at this initiative statute which was placed on the November ballot by California voters via initiative (Voter petition signatures).

Proposition 37, a Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative, is on the November 6, 2012 ballot in California as an initiated state statute.

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.”

Now, lets look what the California Legislative Analyst has said about the initiative (the report is embedded below):

Prop 37 Leg Analysis

So, what is so wrong about food labeling disclosure? I mean shouldn’t we know what is in our food?

Yes and the government both federal and state do regulate the agriculture and food industry. But, Proposition 37 is unnecessary in just so many ways AND a costly waste of time and money.

Let’s look at a major reason – There is NO Risk with Genetically Engineered Food. Look at this post.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are no riskier than their conventionally farmed equivalents, the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisor Anne Glover has told EurActiv in an exclusive interview, calling for countries impeding GMO use to be put to proof.

The endorsement of GMO safety will rattle member states where bans are in place (see background), and represents the CSA’s highest-profile policy intervention since Glover became Commission President José Manuel Barroso’s scientific advisor last December.

“There is no substantiated case of any adverse impact on human health, animal health or environmental health, so that’s pretty robust evidence, and I would be confident in saying that there is no more risk in eating GMO food than eating conventionally farmed food,” Glover told EurActiv, saying the precautionary principle no longer applies as a result.

Glover said she was not promoting GMOs, and added that “eating food is risky”, explaining: “Most of us forget that most plants are toxic, and it’s only because we cook them, or the quantity that we eat them in, that makes them suitable.”

I would say this is a major impediment to the rationale for the initiative, wouldn’t you say?

In future posts, I will delve into the details of just how ridiculous and poorly written the initiative is. Plus, I will go into the possible motivations of California Proposition 37 proponents.

Stay tuned….