The Right To Know… Proposition 37 November 2012 Elections American Government • Professor James Cema Proposition 37 is regarding labeling Genetically Engineered (GE) Foods. GE Foods is the name given to the food that consists of genetically engineered ingredients that are used to develop new plant and animal varieties that are later used as a source of foods by the general public. Typically the modification is done to create a protection of the crops from pests. Proposition 37 is known as the “Right to Know” act.
This labeling process would be useful to consumers. The process would also create a level of responsibility among mass producers of corn, alfafa, soy, sugar beets and certain baby formulas commonly used by consumers so that the consumer can make an informed decision about what consumers are feeding themselves and their families. (Attorney General, 2012). For example, Wal-Mart is now selling a brand of sweet corn that has been genetically modified to produce pesticides in its own tissue.
Genetically Modified corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an insecticide but there is NO LABEL requirement to let the consumer know that the corn has been modified at all. (League of Women, 2012) Proposition 37 would also prohibit foods labeled “natural” to use any of the previously mentioned ingredients of GE Foods. Certified organic foods would be considered exempt from the labeling, foods that were “unintentionally” produced with genetically engineered material are also exempt as are foods sold for immediate consumption including restaurant foods and alcoholic drinks.
Pros for this proposition include raising the consumer’s level of awareness of what is going into their bodies which could help to avoid certain allergic and ongoing adverse health reactions in some consumers. The proposition would cost food producers very little to add or change the wording on the label of the foods that are produced. Cons for this proposition are that the mandatory labeling would open the food manufacturers to frivolous lawsuits by consumers.
There is also concern among food producers regarding the cost of switching to non-genetically modified ingredients to comply with the labeling requirement. The fear is that the food would become far too expensive to the consumer. (The truth about prop 37. 2012) I support the labeling of genetically modified food and here is why, I believe that we, as consumers, have the right to know what is being done to our food before our food is placed on our table to feed our family.
I believe that government has placed so many rules and regulations on many of the products that we consume including calorie count on certain items for sale in restaurants, warning labels on the side of cigarettes, nutritional labels on most of our food… etc. There is an obligation that the government should mandate, that would allow the consumer to make an informed decision about what he or she is feeding her family. I am not for this proposition because I believe 100% that Genetically modified foods are bad for us, I don’t believe there has been enough research in the department to make that informed of a decision.
I just don’t want to unknowingly eat genetically modified foods. I support this measure because as it states, I feel I have the “right to know. ” The opposition states that the labeling would open “frivolous” lawsuits, this is suspicious, because if, the GM Foods are not causing a health risk, why would there be a fear of frivolous lawsuits? It seems to be that the food manufacturers are aware of some sort of risk and unwilling to share that risk via a label that lets the consumer know the risks involved.
The other argument that the process to label the food would be costly! I think they are scared that given a choice, consumers would not knowingly consume genetically modified foods, which would hurt their wallets. I also think that there is a big business agenda in the forefront of the opposition of this bill which is backed by MILLIONS of dollars to stop this bill from being passed which alarms me into supporting the bill. Companies like PepsiCo. , Coca Cola, and Nestle which are HUGE producers of highly processed foods are supporting the negative campaigns behind prop 37.
Each company contributing over a million dollars to stop this bill. Can’t they just use the money to change their labels and be done with it? Bibliography The truth about prop 37. (2012). Retrieved October 29, 2012 from http://www. carighttoknow. org/ League of women voters of California Education Fund. (2012). Retrieved October 29, 2012 from http://cavotes. org/assets/forprint/2012Nov-ProsCons-bw. pdf Proposition 37 Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute. (Attorney General, 2012). Retrieved October 29, from http://www. californiapropositions. org