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Where Do You Stand on GMO Labeling and Prop. 37?

The campaigns for and against Proposition 37 are heating up. How do you feel about genetically modified food?

Fairfax’s Good Earth Natural Foods is participating in non-GMO month when the issue could not be timelier.

The food fight over Proposition 37 should intensify over the next week as Californians prepare to vote Nov. 6 on the measure, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered food (or genetically modified organisms). The proposition would also not allow genetically engineered foods to be labeled as natural. 

The Fairfax health food store is one of more than grocery 1,500 grocery retailers in North America participating in the third annual non-GMO month this October, according to Good Earth officials. Good Earth will have specials, shelf tags, displays and educational materials to help shoppers identify Non-GMO Project verified options.

Has anyone heard of this sort of participation in Novato?

The Fairfax Town Council audience erupted into applause and cheers Aug. 1 after

GMOs are created by gene splicing techniques. Opponents argue it creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes. GMO labeling is mandatory is almost 50 countries in the world.

“The passing of Prop 37 will go a long ways to stopping the continued dangerous proliferation of GMOs in this country; with GMOs now found in as much as 80 percent of conventional packaged foods, we are more committed than ever to helping people find safe, healthy non-GMO choices,” said Al Baylacq, a Good Earth Natural Foods partner, in a release. The store officials have formally endorsed the proposition.

While the Yes on Proposition 37 backers are polling ahead of the resistance, those behind No on 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme are launching a costly campaign, which a total of more than $25 million in contributions from Monsanto, DuPoint, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg and other major U.S. food and beverage makers

According to the nonprofit Non GMO Project, “high-risk crops” that are .

How do you feel about GMOs? Are you going to vote for Prop 37 in November? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

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Lou Judson October 26, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Prop 37 is needed badly! Manipulating foods for profit is rampant and bad for all living things, always has been. GMO "foods" cause cancer, and so on... Voye YES.
Veronica Laboure-Slaughter October 26, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I wasn't worried about GMO for a long time, kind of thought it was a lot of noise for nothing. But now that I am better informed I understand that offspring of animals fed with GMO foods have a very small rate of survival. Some baby rats were born with all sorts of diseases and malformations like growing hair in their mouth. Here's a now well known research most of you must have heard of: http://www.naturalnews.com/037249_GMO_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html . THank you Patch.com to bring this up and Hurray to Fairfax you guys rock!
Nancy Laureano Grossi October 26, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I am all for healthy eating, knowing what is in my food and what I'm buying, where it comes from, and having a choice in what I feed my children. So with California paving the way, as it does so often for the rest of the country, when a badly drafted initiative such as Prop 37 is on the ballot, I think as Californian's we shouldn't settle for how this bill is written. This prop has good intentions but is very poorly written. Why does this prop contain so many exemptions? For instance, Prop 37 exempts milk, cheese and meat from its labeling requirements although cows, pigs and chickens.....I know the animals themselves are not GMO animals but they do eat GE feed. Another example; canned soup bought in the grocery store must be labeled but the same canned soup bought at a snack shack or restaurant is exempt. This initiative also establishes a system that allows anyone to file a lawsuit about bad labeling, without having to prove any damages. Legal fees alone to defend themselves when they have done nothing wrong could drive small farmers out of business. The labeling requirements in this initiative would only apply to California, further destroying the competitiveness of California growers. This doesn't seem fair and balanced to me. I am ALL for labeling food, but I will not vote for prop 37...it needs to be re-written.
Joe Robinson October 26, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I always thought I was genetically modified so I'm glad they finally have specific food for me. Joe
Ralph Canine October 26, 2012 at 02:51 PM
It's an open question whether or not the increased number of people with gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance is related to GMO wheat. Accurate food labeling is fair and reasonable.
RonitGesundheit October 26, 2012 at 03:26 PM
It's a no brainer, vote yes. http://www.communityacupunctureofmarin.com/blog/2012/10/25/gmos-health/
Karen Dionne October 26, 2012 at 03:27 PM
With all the diseases and cancers that humans and animals succumb to, I feel we have a right to know what we are eating and to make those choices for ourselves. Keeping food in it's most natural, organic, pesticide-free, non-modified state is my bet on safe food choices.
Sam Roth October 26, 2012 at 03:41 PM
No on 37. There is no science behind it.
RonitGesundheit October 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Precautionary principle - this is a good time to use it.
Karen Pavone October 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Bravo Jessica! For those who have not done so, please read my PATCH article in support of Proposition 37 which details specifics on why it is important to pass this measure: http://novato.patch.com/blog_posts/proposition-37-why-we-should-vote-yes-for-gmo-labeling
Bill October 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Almost all food today is genetically modified. To require a little green label on everything will not accomplish much. I will be voting against Prop 37.
Anti-Ideologue October 26, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Transparent disclosure is fundamental for free markets to function properly. It's then up to the individual to determine whether to consume or not. YES ON 37
Karen Pavone October 26, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Beautifully stated. You've captured the essence of this measure in three sentences. I couldn't have said it better myself!
Michael Deutch October 26, 2012 at 06:34 PM
If you are all for labeling, you must vote YES. I’m afraid that you’ve been misled. Here’s how… The proposition is well written. The authors took everything into consideration when intentionally leaving out animals that have been fed GMO food. Since the animals are not GMO, opponents would have a case to throw out the entire proposition in an expensive legal battle. So, to take a giant step forward, it was decided to address the 80% of food products that line our supermarket shelves first. Regarding the restaurant observation, you’re correct. However, there is nothing stopping you from asking your server if they use GMO products. People do it all the time when it comes to farmed vs. factory fish, organic products, etc… If the products are not labeled, it would be impossible for the staff to answer your question. Please don’t kill this prop because it doesn’t deliver everything at once. The ‘No’ campaign has a lot at stake at they’ll go to great lengths to keep America in the dark - even if it means breaking the law. For instance, they illegally fabricated a quote from the FDA and added it to their campaign mailers. The quote was never made by the FDA and now they’re subject to fines and imprisonment for up to five years for doing so. A criminal investigation has been requested of the US Department of Justice for these illegal actions.
Michael Deutch October 26, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Part II Their supposed ‘doctor’ from Stanford University is NOT affiliated with the University. He does research for the Hoover Institution which is funded by guess who? The food manufacturers like Archer Daniels Midland & Monsanto. They’ve been ordered to reshoot their commercials removing any mention of the University and shots of their buildings and medical center. Misleading!
Michael Deutch October 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Part III Regarding the legal aspects, here are the false claims and the actual reality. False Claim #1: Proposition 37 is “a measure for trial lawyers written by trial lawyers.” Truth: Under Proposition 37, there are no incentives for lawyers to sue. Why would trial lawyers write a measure they can’t make money on? The real history is that Prop 37 was written by a group of food industry, farm, science and health experts, including from Lundberg Family Farms, the Organic Consumers Association, Food Democracy Now!, Nature’s Path and the Center for Food Safety. False Claim #2: Proposition 37 will provide “countless new opportunities for shakedown lawsuits.” Truth: As noted, Prop 37 offers no economic incentives for lawyers to sue. Consumers can't file a class action without first giving notice and if the defendant fixes the labels, then no class action is permitted. And any penalties from a violation go only to the state, not the plaintiff or lawyer. Food companies are required by law to label for ingredients, calories, etc., and there have been few violations. Companies are also likely to label genetically engineered foods accurately.
Michael Deutch October 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Part IV False Claim #3: Prop 37 is just like Prop 65, the toxics labeling law. Truth: Prop 37 is so significantly different from Prop 65 that comparing the two laws makes no sense. The opposition knows this -- but they do it anyway. According to an independent analysis by James Cooper, JD, PhD, George Mason University School of Law, Prop 37 "covers less economic activity, provides more exemptions from its provisions, and is likely to provide greater certainty for businesses" than Prop 65 -- differences which substantially reduce the potential for lawsuits. False Claim #4: Prop 37 is "a nightmare scenario for grocers” and retailers because they have to obtain and keep "reams of paperwork." Truth: This is completely false. Retailers would only have to label the few raw commodities (sweet corn, papaya, squash) that are genetically engineered. They can either stick a simple label on the bin or, if they wish, they can ask their supplier for a sworn statement that the crop is not genetically engineered. Furthermore, retailers are protected under the law in two ways. First, class action lawsuits are expressly forbidden unless the retailer is given a chance to put the labels on -- if they do, no lawsuit. Second, the law protects anyone for whom a claimed violation was not intentional or resulted from an error; since retailers have no reason to know what's inside the packages of food on their shelves, they aren't liable at all. It couldn't be clearer.
Michael Deutch October 26, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Part V: False Claim #5: Prop 37 will lead to rampant lawsuits against farmers and retailers. Truth: Under basic legal principles, legal liability for violating a rule falls on the person responsible for complying with the rule. Under our initiative, the person responsible for labeling processed foods is the person who puts the label on -- the manufacturer. The retailer would only be responsible for labeling a raw agricultural commodity that is genetically engineered. The other side is lying about farmers and retailers because they want to take the spotlight off the junk food manufacturers who are responsible for putting the labels on the food. False Claim #6: “An interconnected web of trial lawyers – with a history of working together to champion and sue under a ballot measure that has made them millions from shakedown lawsuits – is at the heart of the campaign for California’s Proposition 37” Truth: The California Right to Know campaign began with the efforts of Pamm Larry, a former midwife, farmer and longtime Chico resident. In 2011, Pamm started organizing mothers and volunteers across the state toward a 2012 ballot drive with only one goal in mind — to let California consumers know if the food they are eating is genetically engineered. With the help of thousands of volunteers, the Right to Know campaign gathered nearly one million signatures from California voters within a 10 week period.
Bill October 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Actually this proposal should be reversed. Label all food that is GMO free and let the rest of it go. Such a label should be optional to organic type products.
Kim Kulp, RD October 26, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I am a Registered Dietitian with a nutrition counseling practice in Novato and Mill Valley, and I strongly support Proposition 37. A simple label will allow everyone the opportunity to make choices about the food they buy and feed their families. GMO crops are created to be resistant to herbicides and pesticides, which means more and more of these chemicals will continue to be required. Increased use of chemicals in the air, water and soil, is not good for anyone's health. The same companies that own the chemicals, own the patents for GMO seed. They make money from both ends, and that's why they are spending so much money on TV ads against Prop 37. Pay attention to the end of the ads, and you will hear they are supported by Monsanto and Dow chemical. These companies are much too powerful, and they are controlling our food supply. For a clear discussion on this topic check out this interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7l42cIJXvM Make sure you have the right to choose what you eat with a simple label. Please vote Yes on 37!
Concerned citizen October 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I just returned from France, where labeling GMO products is required by law. They are afraid that some unlabeled GMO products could clandestinely infiltrate from the US. They published and broadcast extensive research results based on mice fed with hybrid corn. A majority of these mice had some type of tumor growth by week 6 and full fledged cancer after 3 months of eating GMO corn. Our digestive systems evolved eating foods with specific cell structures, providing it with artificially altered food structures is bound to offset our immune system's equilibrium. Why open ourselves to these risks to satiate food manufacturers like Monsanto and pesticide companies who are spending millions to defeat this proposition. VOTE YES FOR YOUR HEALTH!

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