Opposition to California Proposition is Growing

Cindy Zimmerman 2 Comments

The National Corn Growers Association is the latest group to join a broad coalition opposing California’s Proposition 37, which would require labeling of some food products sold in that state that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

“All it’s going to do is add to food costs,” said NCGA president Garry Niemeyer of Illinois. “It is a flawed proposition and its exemptions don’t really make sense for those who support the idea of the ‘right to know.'”

An example of exemptions that make no sense – cow’s milk is exempt but soy milk requires a label. Dairy products, eggs, meat and poultry are all exempt. Fruit juice requires a label, but alcohol made with some of the same GE ingredients is exempt. Food sold in a grocery store requires a label, but the same food sold in a restaurant is exempt.

Listen to my interview with Garry here: NCGA president Garry Niemeyer

At least 60 agricultural organizations are part of the campaign urging Californians to vote No on Prop 37, titled the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.” San Joaquin valley diversified farmer Greg Palla says the initiative would effectively ban the sale of tens of thousands of common grocery products only in California, unless they are relabeled or made with more costly ingredients. “We feel that it’s a very deceptive initiative,” he said, noting that the idea of having to label perfectly safe products “just conflicts with good science.”

Palla says Proposition 37 would have a definite impact outside the state of California, since it would apply to so many retail products that made in other locations. “The impact would be swift and clear,” he said, noting that other states might follow California’s example.

Besides state and national agricultural groups, Prop 37 is being opposed by a broad coalition of ethnic and labor organizations, as well as groups representing scientists, doctors, business, and taxpayers in general. Find out more at NoProp37.com.

Listen to my interview with Greg here: California farmer Greg Palla

Audio, Biotech, politics

Comments 2

  1. Chris

    Honestly, ALL of the exception criticized by this author make sense to me. Soy milk vs Cow milk? Of course Soy should be labeled because it is a plant product where cow milk is an animal product. Different biology equals different labeling requirements. Dairy, eggs, meat and poultry, again are animal products and so should not be subject to the same labeling as plant products. Fruit juice vs fermented products? Again, no one expects fermented products to be as “natural ” as the juice, so the juice should be labeled.

    Very likely, we will find this law is not perfect. No law is. But the right to have KNOWLEDGE is opposed only by people or companies who prefer to thrive in the dark.

    Vote YES on 37.

  2. Kathleen

    Whether or not Prop 37 passes, I hope that it will soon be mandated
    that food manufacturers list everything that is sprayed on crops or
    fed to animals. If you feed chickens arsenic, that is an ingredient.
    It should be listed. If you douse your soy with Roundup, that’s an
    ingredient. List it. The age of chemicals and pesticides is ending.
    People value their health and they want to know what is in their food.
    Prop 37 should pass. A note to factory farmers: You are shooting yourselves in the foot with your use of toxic chemicals and mistreatment of animals. I became a vegan 2 years ago after learning about factory farming
    practices. Prior to that, I ate meat, dairy, and eggs daily. People
    are disgusted with the industrial food system in this country. You are
    losing customers everyday. Clean up your act! Treat the environment and animals
    with respect.

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