, Prop 37
» Prop 37 – California’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act
Prop 37 – California’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act
There is so much confusion surrounding food and nutrition. What’s a ‘superfood’? Should you avoid certain food groups? Are artificial sweeteners bad? the list goes on and on.
I’ve become a huge advocate of reading food labels. I devour information about serving sizes, ingredients, macronutrients and everything else.
Then a new term pops up – GMO’s – Genetically Modified Organisms. I looked to my trusty food labels to let me know… except that information isn’t required to be on the label! How do you know if you are eating a food that has been genetically modified? The answer… you don’t.
The people behind CA Prop 37 have put together a ballot initiative to go straight to the voters. The initiative will require food manufacturers to label foods that contain GMO’s. The state legislature does not have the opportunity to let lobbyists have their say and shoot down this referendum as they have in the past.
The healthy blogger community is rallying their support behind Prop. 37. Leah Segedie (one of the most influential mommy bloggers on the internet and the force behind Mamavation) wrote this about GMO’s:
“So what is a genetically engineered food? According to CA Right to Know (Prop. 37 in California), “a genetically engineered food (also known as genetically modified organism, or GMO) is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is engineered in a laboratory, and is not found in nature.”
It’s estimated that 70% of our food on grocery shelves contains GMOs, compared to only 5% in Europe. The early 1990′s the FDA allowed all sorts of things into our food supply such as additives, preservatives, and GMOs. Since then we’ve had some significant changes to the health of our children. According to Healthy Child Healthy World these are stats about differences in illness in children since early 90s.
400% increase in food allergies
300% increase in asthma
400% increase in ADHD
1,500% increase in autism”
Some other interesting facts about GMO’s:
this is a bipartisan issue – 89% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats support labeling of GMO’s
A survey from the Mellman Group shows that only 1 in 4 Americans think that GMO’s are “basically safe”
an example of a GMO is corn that has been modified to either produce its own pesticide or to withstand a high amount of pesticides (from the CARightToKnow.org website)
California has the chance to lead the nation in the labeling of GMO’s. As the nation’s most populous state as well as the nation’s leading agricultural state, what happens in November will have a far reaching affect on the rest of the country.
The battle lines have been drawn. The opposition to Prop 37 comprise the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition (CACFLP), whose members include the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta, as well as several big food processors and supermarket chains. The opponents are expected to spend $60-$100m on a campaign to convince voters that Prop 37 will raise food prices, hurt farmers and even contribute to world hunger.
What can you do?
Don’t believe the lobbyists. Do the research for yourself. Educate yourself on the benefits of full disclosure about what is in our food.Go to CARightToKnow.org and read everything you can.
On August 10 (a fantastic day, BTW – it’s my birthday), there is going to be a live chat on Twitter from 7-8PM PDT to discuss and educate people about Proposition 37.
Thank you to Leah Segedie for sharing the information with me that I’ve included in this post. This isn’t an issue for Californians only. This is an issue that will affect everyone. If you are concerned about what goes in to your food and your health, then you need to be involved.
If you are a blogger and would like to get involved, please let me know and I will put you in contact with the group.
According to CARightToKnow.org – the following groups have endorsed Prop 37: ” Public Citizen, Sierra Club, American Public Health Association, United Farm Workers, California Certified Organic Farmers, Organic Consumers Association, Consumer Federation of America, Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, Organic Valley, Dr. Bronner’s, Eden Foods, Mercola.com, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now! and the California State Grange”.