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    Fighting for the Right to Label – Or Not

    The debate is heating up in advance of the November vote in California for Proposition 37, a ballot initiative Golden State residents will vote on that would require labels to appear on food products that include a genetically modified (GM) ingredient.

    The debate is heating up in advance of the November vote in California for Proposition 37, a ballot initiative Golden State residents will vote on that would require labels to appear on food products that include a genetically modified (GM) ingredient.

    Ever mindful that as California food trends go, often goes the rest of the country, the outcome of the issue obviously has significant implications for food retailers and manufacturers. Indeed, while many major food companies routinely use GM corn, soy or canola ingredients in their products, recent public polling data indicates that the pro-labeling side has an advantage. But opponents of the controversial proposition are hardly giving up – nor are the pro-labeling advocates – so the issue is certainly one that we’ll be keeping close tabs on in the coming weeks.

    On California Secretary of State Ballot Measures’ update page, the official definition of Prop 37 is defined as follows:

    • Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
    • Prohibits labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”
    • Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; 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; or alcoholic beverages.

    Production company “Explainer Music” and tech news site Pando Daily recently developed a nifty rap video that creatively endeavors to examine both sides of the consumers' “right to know” initiative, as best as possible, in under two minutes.

    As the subject of our September online poll, the vast majority of responses tallied to date (64 percent), favor tabling the measure because “there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed in California.” Meanwhile, 26 percent support the move by voting that Prop 37 is a “good idea whose time has come.”

    We’d love to see where our readers stand on this issue, so be sure to visit to weigh in by casting a vote.

     

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