What is in this article?:
- California‚Äôs GE labeling measure must be rejected
- Gaming the system
- Prop 37 contains ominous tentacles that reach beyond simply informing consumers of GE contents. This threat is what makes the GE labeling crusade so dangerous to agriculture.
- Up to 20 other U.S. states have similar labeling bills on their ballots. What sets Prop 37 apart: It is just not a labeling regulation, but impacts foods now sold as having “natural” ingredients.
Prop 37 threatens a legal nightmare for California.
I recently returned from an annual meeting with agricultural association representatives from across the country and learned all eyes are following the outcome of California’s Prop 37 – a voter initiative on the November ballot that aims to include labeling “warnings” to consumers that products so tagged are made with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.
I call it a “warning” because the general public – which has been brainwashed by green activists into believing GE crops are unnatural “Frankenfoods” – will likely avoid buying these products even though the American Medical Association endorses their consumption and believes there’s no material difference between GE foods and unmodified foods.
The annual meeting – this year held in the once wild and wooly Old West town of Deadwood in the Black Hills of South Dakota – brings association representatives together to compare notes on hot-button agricultural issues affecting them in their respective states. This year California’s Prop 37 took center stage.
“There are as many as 20 states this year with similar labeling bills on their ballots,” said Abe Basu, of the Biotechnology Industry Organization based in Washington, D.C. Basu pointed out that what sets Prop 37 apart from the rest is it is just not a labeling regulation, but impacts various foods now sold as having “natural” ingredients. And he noted that such GE labeling does in no way improve the nutritional needs and benefits of the food being sold. “If passed, this measure is going to result in endless lawsuits being filed and will force companies and growers to keep mounds of additional records in the likely event they eventually will get sued. It’s going to be a field day for lawyers.”
Heather Hansen, executive director of Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, added that her state is watching the outcome of California’s initiative because if it passes, activists in Washington state promise to champion a future ballot measure there.
Several recent media polls have measured voter opinion on Prop 37 and a majority of potential voters say they “want to know what is in their foods” and that this information should not be kept secret. This is fair enough; however, Prop 37 contains ominous tentacles that reach beyond simply informing consumers of GE contents. This threat is what makes the GE labeling crusade so dangerous to agriculture. No other state in the union requires these types of labels on foodstuffs.