Election day for California voters is about much more than picking a President. They'll be deciding November 6 whether they have a right to more explicit food labeling. Specifically, the Right to Know campaign is calling for food makers to disclose the use of genetically modified or lab engineered ingredients. The Yes on 37 campaign has funded a tiny fraction of the ads you might see on this issue, with their newest one here:
The No on 37 campaign is spending a report one million dollars per day on ads to convince voters the labeling law would be too confusing, expensive and unfair. We have asked the Monsanto corporation, a major Prop 37 opponent, for its input and included that in this earlier article. Many in agriculture don't want a change in the current way of producing and bringing foods to market.
The push for labeling comes from nurses, consumer advocates, organic food companies and small farmers. "It's all very simple: Food is a sacred part of our lives. We absolutely have a right to know if our food comes from nature, or it it was genetically engineered in a lab by companies like Monsanto and Dow," said Stacy Malkan, media director of Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know campaign.
The world is following this historic California vote because the United States lags behind more than 60 other countries that already give consumers choice through GMO labeling. If the measure passes, the rest of the US will likely follow suit.
Still not sure this affects you? If you eat typical processed foods made with corn, soy or beet sugar, chances are you've been eating GMOs already. A mandatory label would allow you to make an informed choice, similar to the way you can read labels now to choose how much fat and sugar content you want in your snack foods.
Disclosure: Since writing more on this issue, I have become convinced that consumers deserve accurate, detailed food labeling that includes a GMO disclosure. Since I want it for my family, I've been an outspoken supporter of Prop 37 because I want to help achieve food labeling for all families.