Next week, Proposition 37 will ask the people of California to decide whether they want GMO labels to be put on foods that have been genetically modified. It looks set to be a battle between Big Food and activists, and of course the money men are on the side of the corporations. An onslaught of TV ads by Monsanto and other big food companies has helped to sway public opinion against the measure, but recent polls show that a majority of Californians are in favor of the measure.
Similar propositions have been put forward in several states, but all have been defeated. However it is hoped that California could change that. If it does pass, it would affect tens of thousands of big brand products, including Coca-Cola, DuPont and Nestlé. That is why many are doing all they can to defeat it. Many companies claim that Proposition 37 will reinforce public sentiment against genetics and that it is ‘anti-science’. Others say that the measure would increase food costs, and expose grocers and distributors to unnecessary lawsuits because of incorrect labels.
Supporters of the action say that consumers deserve to know what is in their food, and cite food-safety concerns and the moral grey area between agriculture and corporate interests.
However, some issues with the proposition remain. Currently in the US, 94% of soybeans and 88% of corn are genetically modified in order to resist herbicides and pesticides. If Proposition 37 was to pass, the labels would still not reflect how much they have been modified. Meat from GM crop fed animals would also not be labelled.
Polls have been highly variable in recent months. In September, 61 percent of voters said they would support the measure, but in a recent poll those numbers fell to 44 percent, as a result of heavy advertising by Monsanto and others.
Via Huffington Post