Due to overwhelming support for the historic GMO labeling initiative, the California Right to Know Labeling Measure will be Proposition 37 on the November Ballot.
Digital Journal reported that on the evening of June 11, the California Secretary of State's office announced that the Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods would be on the state's November ballot.
Polls showed nearly unanimous support across the political spectrum for labeling of genetically engineered foods. Nine out of ten voters in the U.S. and California back labeling according to recent polls (see Mellman 2012, Reuters 2010 and Zogby 2012). KCBS, a San Francisco TV station, ran a poll in April and found that 91% backed labeling.
The initiative requires that genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are plants or meats that have had their DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food, must be labeled clearly as such. The type of genetic alteration in these foods occurs in a laboratory, and is not found in nature.
Late yesterday, the California Secretary of State released the proposition numbers for November's ballot, and California's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will be Proposition 37.
The Right to Know measure calls for labeling of genetically engineered foods and, if passed, will be the first law in the U.S. requiring the labeling of a wide range of genetically modified foods.
California Right to Know
California Right to Know
Stacy Malkan, a spokesperson for the California Right to Know campaign, said, “Prop 37 is about our fundamental right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children. Given the broad support in the state - and across the country - for the right to know if our food is genetically engineered, we are confident California voters will make history by passing Prop 37 in November.”
Marion Nestle, professor at the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, and author of the blog FoodPolitics.com has said, "This November, consumers in California will cast a critical vote on the right to know whether the foods they enjoy are genetically modified. This is simply a matter of consumer choice.“
The United States is one of the only developed nations that does not provide consumers with labels stating that the food has been genetically engineered.
Cathy Calfo, executive director of California Certified Organic Farmers stated, “More than 40 other countries - including all of Europe, Japan, China and, beginning next January, India - label genetically engineered food. The majority of people in the world have easy access to this information. Californians also deserve to be able to make informed choices about the food that they eat."
Major endorsers of the initiative include the American Public Health Association, California Certified Organic Farmers, the California State Grange, the Center for Food Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Dr. Bronner’s, Eden Foods, Food Democracy Now!, Lundberg Family Farms, Mercola.com, Nature’s Path, Organic Consumers Association, Organic Valley, Public Citizen, Sierra Club and United Farm Workers.
For more information about the California Right to Know campaign, visit http://www.CARighttoKnow.org.