California's Prop 37 Could Force Labeling of GMO Foods

By:  Kelly Holt
08/23/2012
       
California's Prop 37 Could Force Labeling of GMO Foods

 Besides ushering in the election of the 45th U.S. president, November ballots across the country will present other important choices. For example, Californians will vote on whether or not food labels must list ingredients made from genetically modified organisms.

 Besides ushering in the election of the 45th U.S. president, November ballots across the country will present other important choices. For example, Californians will vote on whether or not food labels must list ingredients made from genetically modified organisms.

Proposition 37, known as the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act”, if passed, will make California the “first state in the nation to require that food manufacturers appropriately label all food — raw and processed — that contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). That term refers to scientific procedures that have altered the genetic material in various organisms,” according to The Christian Science Monitor on August 20.

If the measure succeeds (similar labeling laws have failed in 19 states) it could mean nationwide changes, as other states are watching, especially in terms of things like language clarification. The results in California are important. Jack Pitney, government professor at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, said, “California is different because of its sheer size. If manufacturers change national labeling practices to conform to California law, the effects will show up on every grocery shelf in America.”

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