I would like to clarify some things about Proposition 37. The measure was originally created by a woman sincerely moved to protect the health of people today, and future generations. It was written and then scrutinized carefully by lawyers and volunteers who worked on it quite awhile to make the initiative, now proposition, worthy of becoming a California law.
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (Prop. 37) makes a strong stand to give genetically engineered foods and drink noticeable signage on their labels. G.E. foods have already been sold commercially in the U.S. for years without the knowledge of most consumers.
Proposition 37 was written in such a manner that society can catch up with the “Right to Know” labeling concept with minimal disruptive changes for businesses. As it makes it easier for some food oriented businesses and institutions to deal with, it leaves some natural food purists, such as myself, wishing for more thorough labeling.
Here are some of the basic exemptions (meaning they don’t have to be labeled, even if they are G.E. or are influenced by G.E. products) in Proposition 37: alcoholic beverages, hospital food, restaurant food, and other food that is meant to be eaten immediately. I have been told that school food will be in this category as well.
Foods that have minute amounts of G.E. ingredients in them, such as in the processing aids and enzymes, will be exempt.
Foods that contain a G.E. ingredient that accounts for .5% or less of the weight of the product, and not more than 10 of these ingredients per product will be exempt.
Animals fed genetically engineered feed or given G.E. injections will not have to be labeled unless the animal itself is a genetically engineered animal. If the animal is not genetically engineered itself, but eats G.E. food or receives G.E. drugs, it is exempt from labeling.
In addition, no food that must be labeled “genetically engineered,” can also be called “natural” or “all-natural” or anything like that on its label.
This labeling law will not commence until July 1, 2014.
I believe that Prop. 37 is a step in the correct direction and it behooves us to take it.
I think more awareness is better than no or very little awareness. I will be voting yes on Proposition 37.