The other day I had a long and intense conversation with two close friends in which we debated the issues surrounding prop 37. We dove deep into the topic for hours, and peeled back the consequential layers of prop 37, its unintended potential effects and overall impact on consumers – I wanted to share some of the topics we discussed with you.
GMO (genetically modified organism) is an organism modified on the genetic level through genetic engineering to alter some of its natural traits. Setting aside the argument of whether GMO products are good or bad, prop 37 is about the right consumers should have to know what they are buying. What is prop 37? Prop 37 will require GMO products, raw or processed, to be labeled as such.
Millions of dollars are being spent on both sides of the argument with Yes on 37 being the clear underdog raising $7.7m as opposed to No on 37 with over $35m as of October 14.
Top donors AGAINST the proposition include:
And top donors FOR the proposition include:
- MERCOLA.COM HEALTH RESOURCES,
- ORGANIC CONSUMERS FUND,
- NATURE’S PATH FOODS U.S.A. INC. FINE NATURAL FOOD PRODUCTS,
- WEHAH FARM, INC., DBA LUNDBERG FAMILY FARMS.
With all these opinions being circulated it can be hard to make an informed decision based on speculation and paid opinions, so I’ve made an outline with language straight from the Proposition text along with examples to help provide you with a straightforward overview of prop 37.
- Individually packaged goods must have “Genetically Engineered” labeled on the front of the package.
- Example: A packaged head of GMO lettuce would have on the front label “Genetically Engineered”
- Not individually packaged goods must be labeled on the shelf or bin where the product is sold.
- Example: A basket full of tomatoes that can be bought individually would have “Genetically Engineered” on the basket.
- Must have “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” on the front of back of the product.
- Example: A food product made of multiple ingredients some of which are GMO will have “May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” on the front or rear label.
- In addition to labeling, the products can’t be labeled as “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” “all natural” or any similar words misleading the consumer.
- Example: GMO lettuce will no longer be advertised or labeled as “natural”
- Any food made of livestock which has been fed or injected with GMO products.
- Any food that comes from livestock that has been fed or injected with GMO products.
- Any agricultural product produced without the knowledge or intent to use GMO products.
- Until July 1, 2019, any processed food that has very small amounts of GMO products (0.5 of 1% of the product or contains less than 10 GMO ingredients.)
- Any food that an independent organization has determined through a sampling process has not intentionally been made with GMO products.
- Any food certified “organic” by the regulations of the Organic Food Products Act of 1990
- Any food that is not packaged for retail sale
- Any food prepared for immediate consumption.
- Medical food
In conclusion, this prop supports the right for consumers to be better informed when exercising their buying power. I’d also like to emphasize the fact that prop 37 does not dictate what is good or bad food to eat, but it simply provides the consumer with the information they need to make an informed buying decision. Consumers should have clearly defined options before decisions are made.