Prop 37 Calls to Relabel Genetically Modified Food
Genetically modified foods are everywhere. For more than 30 years, genetically modified (or GM) foods have accounted for 40 to 70 percent of the average consumer’s diet.
“It’s not nature. It’s a scientist in a lab taking the DNA of a virus or bacteria or a plant or an animal and putting it into the DNA of a plant or an animal,” said Morgan Peters, a volunteer for the California “Right to Know” campaign.
Prop 37 would require certain foods to be labeled as containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, to educate the consumer.
The “Right to Know” campaign says voters have the right to know what’s in their food.
“It’s your right. You’re buying this stuff. You’re consuming it and feeding it your kids. Don’t you want to know what you’re eating?” said Peters.
If Prop 37 passes, companies will be required to label all products containing GM ingredients. This will cost up to 100,000 dollars in labeling and distribution fees. That cost translates to an extra 400 dollars spent on groceries per family every year.
Opponents of the proposition say the labeling is uneven, excluding GM meat and dairy products from the regulations.
In addition to uneven labeling, opponents argue that three decades of studies by the FDA, USDA, and other major health organizations have shown no ill effects caused by GM foods in humans.
“[The proposition] is totally misleading and flies in the face of the scientific evidence. Genetically modified food is safe. Labels should be based on fact, not fear and misinformation,” said Shery Yang, a spokesperson for the No on Prop 37 campaign.
And Experts say GM foods are 100 percent safe for consumers.
“There aren’t any issues in safety but the writers of the bill suggest there are issues,” said Roger Clemens, an expert in food safety and technology.
Clemens says not only are GM products safe, but they have the ability to fight off drought and disease, saving thousands of crops every year.
“G-M foods save more than just plants, it improves crop yield,” said Clemens.
One farmer sells all GMO free produce at an L.A. farmers market and even before the vote is cast, he’s excited about the debate.
“The people ask and they’re afraid about the organisms, the modified organisms. But anyway, when I see that I’m motivated to keep on doing it my own way because business is going to increase for sure,” said Non-GMO farmer, Jorge Zaragoza.
GMOs may be proven safe for consumers, but proponents still say California voters have the right to know when their “fresh” food is grown in the garden of science.