California's Right To Know Ballot Measure is Now Prop 37

Campaign to Label GMO Foods is On the Ballot in CA

Campaign to Label GMO Foods is On the Ballot in CA

According to the California Secretary of State, the California’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will be on November’s ballot as Proposition 37. The initiative, trendsetting in the United States, is old news in more than 40 countries that already have labeling laws.  If accepted by voters, it will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The initiative also seeks to protect the labels “natural” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” or “all natural” from being used on foods that have been genetically modified.

Not everyone is happy with the initiative, naturally. Big food corporations would rather have an uninformed consumer than the one reading labels and they started to pour millions of dollars in advertising to try to convince the California voters to vote down Prop 37. According to some estimates, spending on such advertising by industry and allies may reach $100 million.

Proponents of the GMO labeling law have been working hard at dispelling the commonly voiced misconceptions and corporate  scaremongering.  And polls appear to reflect their point of view.  According to information available from the California Right To Know organization, the driving force behind the initiative, there is nearly unanimous support across the political spectrum for labeling of genetically engineered foods.  Opinion polls from The Mellman Group (2012), Reuters and NPR (2010), and Zogby (2012), show that nine out of 10 voters in the U.S. and California back labeling.  Another poll conducted in April by a San Francisco TV station, KCBS, similarly found that 91% of Californians back labeling.  Prop 37 is endorsed by many organizations, doctors, businesses and farms.

According to Stacy Malkan, a spokesperson for the California Right to Know campaign, “Prop 37 is about our fundamental right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children.”