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Yesterday, we featured information on a series of lectures presented by supporters of Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified foods sold in the state, with a host of exceptions.

Today, the anti-37 crowd weighs in. They say that Prop 37 “will unnecessarily raise food costs, hurt small businesses and farmers, create frivolous lawsuits, and saddle California with more bureaucracy and red tape.”

Opponents of the measure receive “major funding” from the Monsanto Company, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

The argument pushed heavily by the “no” forces in a release earlier this month focuses on the potential for lawsuits against corporations for real or perceived violations of the law, were it to be implemented.

For evidence they point to Prop 65, the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.” The statue prohibits the willful dumping of cancer-causing and pregnancy-endangering chemicals, as well as exposing people to such chemicals without notice. Since the law’s inception, 37 foes say, it “has generated more than 16,000 actions against businesses and nearly $500 million in settlements, attorneys fees and costs.” About $3 million of those costs have gone to official Prop 37 proponent James Wheaton and his associates.

Opponents additionally argue that it’s unfair that it’s unfair to require the labeling of products that use “modern varieties” of corn, soybeans, and other crops, or to prohibit foods that have been processed by pasteurization, heating, or drying from being advertised as “natural.”

They also feel the burden of proof to determine whether or not a product contains “bio-engineered” food (the term preferred over “genetically modified” by users of the technology) should lie on a consumer looking to file a lawsuit, rather than the producer of said product.

Finally, opponents point out that no other state in the U.S. has yet implemented similar requirements, although over 50 countries worldwide (including the entire European Union) have such measures on the books.

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Comments

JRuss Aug. 24, 2012 @ 2:11 a.m.

Then there are some of us that are allergic to GMO foods just as some people are allergic to peanuts. Foods containing peanuts are labeled. Why not foods that contain the Bt-toxin?

I was given some corn on the cob several weeks ago that I ate and my blood sugar went way up and took a long time to come down. A few weeks later I bought some organic corn on the cob which I ate and my blood sugar went up a little, but come back down much faster. Is it because the GMO corn is deficient in the metal nutrients [chrome & vanadium] that are needed for insulin to work? How many diseases are the result of missing metal nutrients? How many are allergic to the Bt-toxin? We need to know what is in are food and what is not in our food. Yes on Proposition 37.

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chezron Aug. 24, 2012 @ 7:22 p.m.

Here are the top 7 lies Monsanto wants you to believe regarding GMO labeling and Prop 37. Monsanto’s Top 7 Lies 1. The bill ”would require a warning label on food products.” GMO foods will not require a warning label (although they ought to!) Actually, foods made with GMOs would say ”partially produced with genetic engineering” or “may be partially produced with genetic engineering,” – not a warning label. 2. ”The safety and benefits of these ingredients are well established.” This may be the most comical statements of all. While no long-term studies portray the dangers or benefits of GMOs, countless studies using a ‘shorter’ time interval show not only how GMOs are a danger to humans, but also the environment and the biosphere. 3. “FDA says that such labeling would be inherently misleading to consumers.” While the FDA may think that labeling GMO foods would be misleading, in reality the exact opposite is true. 4. “The American Medical Association just re-affirmed that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.” Although true, the American Medical Association also recently called for mandatory premarket safety studies for GMOs – a decision virtually polar opposite of the above quote. 5. ”…the main proponents of Proposition 37 are special interest groups and individuals opposed to food biotechnology who are not necessarily engaged in the production of our nation’s food supply.” Not engaged int he production of our nation’s food supply? Countless farmers, food producers, and consumers who are engaging with their hard-earned dollar support Proposition 37. In fact, many farmers have taken legal action against Monsanto in the past for widespread genetic contamination. 6. ”The California proposal would serve the purposes of a few special interest groups at the expense of the majority of consumers.” Monsanto says “at the expense of the majority of consumers.” Maybe the biotech giant isn’t aware that GMO labeling is so desired that the pro-labeling side has a 3-to-1 advantage, based on recent polls. At least 90% consumers actually want GMO foods to be labeled. 7. ”Consumers have broad food choices today, but could be denied these choices if Prop 37 prevails.” There is absolutely no reason to think that because of Proposition 37, food choices would become more limited. Actually, the bill would add value to the purchase by consumers, as no one would need to ‘eat in the dark’ and unknowingly consume GMOs.

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Anne101 Sept. 18, 2012 @ 8:56 p.m.

According to independent legal analysis Proposition 37 has been crafted in a way that provides “greater legal certainty” for businesses than other California consumer disclosure laws. It won’t invite frivolous lawsuits. What it will do is help California consumers make more informed choices about the food they eat.

http://www.anh-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Prop65-and-GMO-Label-Initiative.pdf

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Claudiagm Oct. 3, 2012 @ 4:13 p.m.

As a mom, I have the right to know what is in the food that I'm feeding my family. Prop 37 would provide consumers with the ability to make informed decisions regarding what they purchase and feed their families. Biotech companies already disclose this information to over 40 countries. Why do Americans have to settle for any less?

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