California voters have soundly defeated Prop. 37, the so-called mandatory food labeling initiative that opponents say was flawed from the beginning.
From the beginning, No on 37 allies argued that Prop. 37 was more than just a simple labeling measure, pointing out that it was misleading, costly and unnecessary based on the science of genetically engineered foods.
“California voters clearly saw through Prop. 37 and rejected higher food costs, more lawsuits and more bureaucracy,” said Henry I. Miller, M.D., a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology (1989-1993). “Food labeling policy should be based on logic and science, not fear. Leading scientific organizations have all agreed that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients are safe and are not materially different from their traditional counterparts. We’re glad the voters rejected this misleading, costly and unnecessary measure.”
Nearly every daily newspaper in California urged a “No” vote on Prop. 37. In fact, more than 40 California newspapers recommended No on 37.
“Grocery retailers would have been hit the hardest by passage of Prop. 37, through more lawsuits, more bureaucracy and higher costs,” said Ronald Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association. “These costs would have been passed on to consumers in the form of higher grocery bills.”
“California family farmers can breathe a little easier today,” said Jamie Johansson, an Oroville farmer who grows olives to make olive oil. Mr. Johansson is also second vice president of the California Farm Bureau Federation. “Prop. 37 would have imposed costly new regulations on California family farmers that no other state requires, putting us at a competitive disadvantage. Thankfully voters understood this and rejected Prop. 37 and voted instead to protect family farmers.”
Proposition 37 would have banned the sale of tens of thousands of perfectly-safe, common grocery products only in California unless they are specially repackaged, relabeled or remade with higher cost ingredients. Prop 37 was a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would have added more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, created new frivolous lawsuits, and increased food costs by billions — without providing any health or safety benefits. That’s why Prop 37 was opposed by a broad coalition of family farmers, scientists, doctors, business, labor, taxpayers and consumers.