Proposition 37: Californians to Vote whether to Label GM Foods

Lawmakers in California have a democratic way of creating laws on issues that can be quite touchy: they put it on a public vote.

This November 6th, Californians will vote on Proposition 37, which would require certain plant and animal products be labeled if its genetic material has been modified. Once approved, the law would also bar food companies from labeling genetically modified foods as “natural.”

Supporters of Proposition 37 say labeling GM foods would allow consumers to decide whether they want to eat genetically modified products, while opponents call the label unnecessary and would only add billions in costs for businesses and consumers.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office said that since GM foods entered the United States market in 1996, majority of corn and soybean grown in the country is genetically modified. It is estimated that 40 to 70 percent of food found in grocery stores is genetically engineered.

If the law pushes through, the labeling would be regulated by the state Department of Public Health, but retailers would be responsible for ensuring the products comply with the law.

Opponents of Proposition 37 say that the law would cost more than just the price of a sticker, citing estimates lawsuits and other expenses would make the new law cost over $5 billion or up to $400 annually for an average family.

Source: Malibu Patch

 
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