Proposition 37, the California statewide ballot measure to ensure labeling of genetically engineered foods, has lost voter support over the last month due to a rash of misleading ads placed by the no side – bad news since this prop will be voted on in less than a week. The newest polls show that the ballot measure is down to a dead heat.
Prop 37 needs your support to pass. If it passes it will mean HUGE positive changes for our food system and for consumers. The measure will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it is produced through genetic engineering, and would not allow these products to be labeled as “natural.” Prop 37 even gives companies 18 months to change their labels, and allows for the GMO disclosure to appear wherever they choose on packaging.
The main reason you should support yes on Prop 37…
We have a right to know what is in our food. Plain and simple.
GMOs may be safe. GMOs may be healthy. On the other hand, GMOs could be super dangerous. However, that’s not really the point is it? The point is that we the consumers should be allowed to make that call. If you think GMOs are awesome, fine, if Prop 37 passes, you’ll be able to easily find GMOs to buy. If you don’t want to eat GMOs, good, this prop will help you avoid them.
It’s like organics. Some people think organics are bunk. Know what, these consumers can easily avoid organics because they’re nicely labeled. Consumers do not have the choice to buy or not buy GMOs because there are no labeling requirements.
But I don’t live in California!
You should still care about Prop 37, even if you live in another state. California produces and sells massive amounts of food. If Prop 37 passes, it’s estimated that this will carry over into other states because companies won’t want to make one label for California food and another for other states. Plus, if Prop 37 can pass in CA, it’s going to open the conversation in many other areas. This vote does matter – to the entire country, not just California.
Something to ponder…
Most of the no on Prop 37 side claim that GMO food is PERFECTLY SAFE not to mention cheaper and healthy. Yet these companies, who are so proud of GMOs and their safety and quality, are reluctant to proudly label food as GMO. I wonder why. If you’re on board with something why not shout it out?
It’s curious right? If the companies supporting GMO food don’t want to proudly label their food, it kind of makes you wonder if they’re not as safe as they’d have you believe.
Prop 37 myths floating around…
Yes on Prop 37 will increase grocery costs: The no side is claiming that labeling will require packaging redesign that will cost companies tons and in turn cost consumers a lot of cash. This is false. Think about how often brands change packaging – often. This is about NOT wanting to label food, not about costs. Yes on Prop 37 states:
“In a recent study on the economic impact of Proposition 37, Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Ph.D., Professor at Emory University School of Law, concluded that there would be “no increases in prices as a result of the relabeling required.” In Europe, introduction of GMO labeling produced no increase in food costs. David Byrne, former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Parliament, stated that when Europe introduced GMO labeling in 1997, it did not result in increased costs, despite the horrifying (double-digit) prediction of some interests.“
Prop 37 will ban foods: Nope. Food bans are not part of Prop 37. All this measure requires is proper food labeling.
GMOs are perfectly safe: Well, they could be I guess. However, the jury is still out. There’s a lot of research that says GMOs can cause tumors, hormonal problems and more. For example, in the first long term GMO study – rats were fed GMOs for their whole life and some crazy bad stuff happened. The American Public Health Association, American Medical Students Association, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Physicians for Social Responsibility, California chapters, the California Nurses Association, and other public health groups are yes on Prop 37, which makes you wonder if GMOs are really all that safe. Right now, there’s just not enough research out there to ensure that GMOs are safe or not. P.S. The FDA does not require safety testing on GMOs so labeling is the only option we have.
There’s a lot of debates about Prop 37 but the debates are seriously a moot point. It honestly all comes down to this – do you want to know what’s in your food or not? If you want to know what’s in your food. Then support Prop 37.
What you can do…
- If you live in California vote yes on Prop 37 on Nov 6.
- Spread the word about Prop 37 by blogging about it. You can find facts about this at the Organic Consumers Association or Cornucopia.
- Join Yes on 37 on Facebook.
- Learn how to avoid GMOs.
More on Prop 37 coming up soon. We only have a little bit of time left to spread the word. Don’t let big corporations get away with not labeling food.
Lead image via Urban Conversation