Posted On: November 7th, 2012


Voters on Tuesday were on track to reject Proposition 37, which would have made California the first state in the nation to require manufacturers to label all foods with genetically-modified ingredients.

With more than 50 percent of precincts reporting, about 55 percent of voters opposed the measure, and just 45 percent supported it.

Opposition to the potential law was heavily bankrolled by chemical companies and food manufacturers. And the majority of that funding – some 93 percent of the $44 million raised to defeat the proposition – came from out of state.

By comparison, the Yes on 37 camp poured some $7 million into a campaign dubbed the “crusade against Frankenfood.”

Genetic engineering involves manipulating the genes of an organism, usually with the goal of improving a plant’s resistance to pests or to allow a plant to withstand the use of pesticides.

While there have been no long-term studies that suggest consuming genetically-modified foods are harmful to humans, supporters of Prop. 37 cited a lack of evidence to the contrary in their arguments for the measure.

“Whether you buy genetically engineered food or not, you have a right to know what you are buying and not gamble on your family’s health,” supporters said.

Opponents of the measure claimed they would be buried by the extra costs of printing new labels, and would have to pass that cost on to consumers.

It’s estimated state enforcement of the proposition would cost taxpayers between a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million annually, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).

As it’s written, Prop. 37 contains a number of exemptions, including foods made entirely from animals and certified organic food. Wine, which makes up a huge industry in California, would also be exempt from the proposed food-labeling law.

Other exemptions include foods that are:

•certified organic;
•unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material;
•made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered ingredients;
•processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients;
•administered for treatment of medical conditions;
•sold for immediate consumption, such as in a restaurant;
•alcoholic beverages.

Experts reiterated throughout the campaign season that California’s decision whether to label genetically-modified foods could have national consequences.

“California could lead the nation in this,” said Bob Stern, a California campaign finance expert, told NBC4 earlier this month. “If it passes, it spreads. If it fails, it may be dead.”

In 2011, 88 percent of all corn and 94 percent of all soybeans produced in the U.S. were grown from genetically-engineered seeds, according to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Some of the most common genetically-engineered crops include alfalfa, canola, cotton, papaya, sugar beets, and zucchini. And are used to make food ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup.

The LAO claims anywhere between 40 and 70 percent of food products sold in California grocery stores contain some genetically engineered ingredients.

I have a nephew, in his mid – 30’s, and married for several years..  He and his wife have been trying to have children, with no success. Via diagnosis it appears he has a low -sperm count.
Only recently was I made aware of GMO’s and especially corn…which has been actually engineered to create sterility in males. I mentioned this to my spouse,and she stated that the Doctors had told my nephew that the problem could be related to what he was eating. He is a  very active person, so it’s likley not lifestyle related , per se, but other factors .
This GMO is VERY scary stuff…if one researches it. The dangers far outweigh the benefits.
People have every right to be informed on what is being sold for public consumption….given what the evidence clearly suggests are numerous and major health risks.
Why this initiative would fail is beyond me…why would anyone not support disclosure ?.
The whole vote stinks….Perhaps the answer is the fear that if it was PASSED in California, it would greater momentum elsewhere. From there….one could predict boycotts….lawsuits…etc etc.The clear message is the GMO industry fears the obvious.
However, this may simply make the opposition even more determined, and force the gutless politicians to act, which is something they should have taken on as a responsible and accountable  goal, and not allow to be imposed on their own citizens.
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