• Fail to provide any meaningful benefits, in the form of improved information, improved product safety, or an expanded range of choices for consumers. “In fact, Proposition 37 would reduce choices by potentially driving some food products containing GE ingredients from the market,”states the report.

• Impose restrictions on the use of the word “natural” on food labels.  According to the report: “Imposing ‘unnatural’ restrictions on the use of the word ‘natural’ on food labels would mislead and confuse consumers because producers of farm commodities such as fruits, vegetables and tree nuts that are simply dried, roasted, juiced o r otherwise lightly processed, in many instances on the farm, would be precluded from using the term “natural” on the product label.”

• Offer far smaller benefits to the organic industry than advertised, and instead will impose higher costs and demands on organic producers. “The food industry would more likely shift to ingredients that are non-GE, but also not certified organic,” the study finds.

• Fly in the face of more than 400 studies that have determined genetically engineered foods are perfectly safe. The National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, more than twenty-five Nobel Prize winning scientists, and other respected academics and doctors have endorsed the safety of biotech foods.

The new University of California, Davis study concludes: “If passed, Proposition 37 would imply that necessarily ill-informed popular opinion should dominate accepted scientific consensus in deter m ining government-set mandates on food,” conclude Alston and Sumner.

About the study’s authors:

Julian Alston, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis.

Dan Sumner, PhD, is Frank H. Buck Jr. professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics , University of California, Davis, and director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.