California’s Office of the Secretary of State announced on Monday that the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, also known as the GMO labeling initiative, will appear on voter ballots as Proposition 37 for the November 6 elections.
If passed, Prop. 37 would make California the first state in the U.S. to require labeling of most foods made with genetically modified organisms — those given specific changes to their DNA through genetic engineering techniques.
Polls conducted by various organizations in recent years have found that roughly 90 percent of Californians support labeling for genetically engineered (GE) foods. But regardless of the polls, leaders of California’s GE labeling movement are still preparing for a fight on the road to election day.
“We certainly have huge support, but we’re not taking anything for granted. There’s a big effort to fight it and we’re worried about the money that will be put toward that effort,” California Right to Know campaign spokeswoman Stacy Malkan told Food Safety News.
GE labeling is already law in nearly 50 countries, including China, Japan and each European state. Alaska requires labeling of GE fish and shellfish, making it the only U.S. state with any type of GE labeling law.
Earlier this year, three-quarters of U.S. Senators rejected a federal GE labeling bill. Nearly 20 states have had similar bills turned down in congress in the past year.
Most major food corporations oppose GE labeling, citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirement that GE ingredients be labeled if they’re determined to exhibit a difference in nutritional value or level of safety.
Malkan said the Right to Know campaign does not hope to ban or eliminate GE foods from the market, but operates on the belief that consumers should simply be able to know whether their food was genetically engineered.
“People want to know what’s in their food and the information shouldn’t be kept from consumers,” she said. “We get to know all the nutritional facts, allergy information, where it comes from, but we can’t know if it’s genetically engineered?”
The Right to Know campaign collected nearly 1 million signatures for the initiative, virtually doubling California’s 550,000-signature requirement. Malkin attributed the level of response to an army of volunteer petitioners.
Others who oppose GE labeling say that consumers want to avoid GE foods out of fear of the unknown, despite the proven benefits such as increased crop yields and better resistance to pests. The Grocery Manufacturers Association calls GE labels unnecessary and potentially confusing to consumers who might perceive the label as an indication of a risk.
The next four months, Malkan said, will pit consumers against corporations in a public relations slugfest. And if the measure passes, it could affect food labeling well beyond California: Supporters predict food makers will want to avoid making separate labels for California and simply choose to change their labels for the entire U.S.
…………..Excerpt From Natural News.com
Friday, June 22, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
But has Sen. Paul really betrayed the American people by voting against S. Amdt. 2310, or are there inherent constitutional problems with the amendment that predicated his “Nay” vote? Upon further investigation, it appears as though the latter scenario is more accurate, as S. Amdt. 2310 falsely assumes that the federal government has the authority to grant states permission to label GMOs.
As others have already begun to point out in the days following the amendment’s rejection, the legislation was essentially toothless from the start. The federal government does not, after all, have the constitutional authority to prohibit states from requiring GMO labeling, let alone permit it. The federal government has also never even tried, at this point, to legally stop individual states from mandating GMO labeling. This means S. Amdt. 2310 was a faulty attempt to address an issue that is not even an issue, and one that attempted to do so using an unconstitutional approach.
A key thing to remember in all this is that neither the federal government nor the U.S. Congress has any constitutional authority to grant states permission to label or not to label GMOs. Under the U.S. Constitution, individual states already possess their own inherent authority to determine how they wish to handle the GMO labeling issue, and the federal government does not legally possess any authority whatsoever in the matter.
Americans need to remember that our individual rights and the rights of our states, as outlined in the Constitution, are not at all contingent upon whether or not the federal government approves or disapproves of them. These rights are wholly independent of the federal government, regardless of how this increasingly tyrannical overlord system tries to interfere with them, or pretend as though it is some kind of omniscient gatekeeper that decides whether or not to grant these rights.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal agencies may still attempt to restrict states from labeling GMOs through loopholes and other crafty regulatory means. But in no scenario does a state require a federal amendment that “permits” states to label GMOs — states are free to label, under the Constitution, at any time. And passing an amendment that “permits” something that is already legal and constitutional would only grant the federal government perceived power over a matter that it does not actually possess.
If the federal government is given the power to “permit” GMO labeling now, for instance, then it can “un-permit” GMO labeling later, despite the fact that it never possessed the power to permit in the first place. This is an important concept to be aware of when dealing with legislation and amendments, and one that Sen. Paul appears to have been fully aware of when voting against S. Amdt. 2310
You can view the roll-call voting results for S. Amdt. 2310 by visiting:
Also, be sure to support the GMO labeling ballot measure in California, which will be up for a public vote on November 6, 2012:
- AMA Sits On The GMO Fence: Not necessary to label GMO’s, instead all that is needed is pre-market safety testing. (familysurvivalprotocol.wordpress.com)
- Monsanto Launches Massive Campaign to Stop GMO Labeling (activistpost.com)
- Monsanto Launches Massive Campaign to Stop GMO Labeling (naturalsociety.com)
- Rand Paul Shows Who He Represents By Voting No On GMO Labelling (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Food Safety Up Against Biotech Giants (ipsnews.net)
- US Senate votes against GMO food labels 73-26 (foodfreedomgroup.com)
- Doctors Take a Stand on GMOs (sustainablebusiness.com)
- Monsanto Launches Massive Campaign to Stop GMO Labeling (blacklistednews.com)
- Rand Paul Sells Out and Votes NO on GMO Labeling (newsworldwide.wordpress.com)
- Frankenfish 2: Attack of the Genetically Engineered Salmon (foodservicewarehouse.com)
- How Monsanto Is Sabotaging Efforts to Label Genetically Modified Food (alternet.org)
- Richmond passes ban on genetically engineered crops (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- What You Need to Know about GMOs (theepochtimes.com)
- Genetic Engineers Explain Why GE Food Is Dangerous (pakalertpress.com)
- “Just Label It” condemns dangerous riders snuck into the Farm Bill by chemical companies working to keep Americans in the dark about their food (sacbee.com)
- So What’s Wrong with GMO’s? Don’t We Want to Feed the World? (passportdinnersblog.com)