We deserve to know what’s in our food – YES on Prop 37!
The Green Chamber of Commerce believes that, as consumers, you have a right to make a choice between organic and genetic engineering when purchasing food for you and your family. The GCC also believes that you have the right to know what is in your food and whether it is genetically modified or not.
Prop 37 requires certain food products to be labeled if they contain genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs). Here are some questions that we asked before endorsing this proposition.
Q: Who would take charge of assessment and management of the GMO labeling process in the state and what constitutes “GMO” products?
A: The enforcement mechanism for Prop 37 is the CLRA Consumer Legal Remedies Act. GMO products are products that contain genetically engineered produce or meats. Anything grown from a seed produced through genetic engineering (horizontal gene transfer, not crossbreeding – forcibly inserting bacterial, virus, or other plant or animal genes into a seed. An example of this is a tomato with fish genes or a peanut protein, or a salmon with eel genes.
Q: Does this adversely affect food industry representatives in any way who may use “sustainable” or “local” foods but are not using or producing organic certified products?
A: It depends. If they are using GMO produce in their products then they would need to label the product as such. If they aren’t using GMO seeds or putting GMO produce into any processed foods they manufacture, there is no effect whatsoever, but it will be indicated in the labeling so that you, the consumer, will be informed.
Q: Does this new form of labeling put any additional cost onto the end consumer?
A: None or negligible (For more information please visit: http://www.carighttoknow.org/truthaboutcost)
Q: Does this new form of labeling create any additional unforeseen costs for the producers such as, requiring all businesses/producers that do not want to be labeled as “GMO” to then attempt to get organic certification, which can be a lengthy, costly, and difficult process?
A: If they don’t want to be labeled GMO, then they don’t have to use GMO seeds. There are many non-organic alternatives to using genetically engineered seeds, and organic certification is not necessary to simply use conventional, non-GMO seeds.
GMO foods represent a fundamental, man-made modification to the natural evolutionary process by which foods that we consume are grown, evolve and exist in the natural world. In time, as science learns more, GMOs may very well prove to be a great asset in providing healthy food sources to our world – or not.
Prop 37 in no way impedes our scientific efforts to understand and create effective methodologies to feed the world’s growing population. It is primarily a vital first step in keeping the public informed. It is for these reasons the GCC is endorsing Prop 37.
What can you do? Join the Right to Know Campaign, spread the word through all social media forums and November 6th vote #YesOn37!