The pistachios I grow on my farm aren’t genetically modified, so I was astonished to learn that if Proposition 37 passes next month, the new labeling law will affect my crop.

There won’t even be a good reason for it. Prop 37 would deliver another hard blow in a bad economy–and it will hurt not just me, but every Californian.

Advocates of Prop 37 say they support the “right to know.” They repeat this phrase like a mantra.

So let’s exercise our right to know. Prop 37 is widely described as a referendum to require special labels for foods with genetically modified ingredients, but it’s much more than this. Its wording is full of political agendas, bizarre contradictions, and hidden costs that will drive up your grocery-store bill.

The first thing to know is that Prop 37 wasn’t drafted by concerned consumers. Instead, it was written by a trial lawyer, James Wheaton. He and his fellow litigators have a financial stake in the passage of Prop 37. Their scheme is to search for opportunities to sue anybody who fails to comply with Prop 37’s complicated requirements.

A number of years ago, Wheaton wrote Prop 65, an ineffective law that requires business to post signs about chemicals. Wheaton’s law firm has collected more than $3 million by suing California businesses for alleged violations of Prop 65, many of them minor.

Mom-and-pop grocers may find themselves especially vulnerable to Prop 37 lawsuits because unlike chain stores, they don’t retain lawyers to help them navigate the fine print of new regulations. They’ll be easy marks for aggressive attorneys.

While Wheaton and his lawyer buddies get rich, you’re going to become a bit poorer. According to one estimate, Prop 37 will make the average California family spend an extra $350 per year on food. That’s because the law will demand new methods of production, distribution, and packaging. Companies will pass these additional costs on to consumers.

People who are least able to pay will suffer the most: seniors on fixed incomes, the unemployed, and the poor.

Perhaps these high costs would be worth it if Prop 37 were to deliver a benefit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. “There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods,” said the American Medical Association this summer, in an official policy statement.

Who do you trust more about the safety and nutritional value of your food: lawyers or doctors?