In case you’re still trying to figure out which propositions you’re going to vote for on tomorrow, there’s one on the ballot that has gotten a lot of attention and not just in California. It’s Prop 37 and if passed, it would require food manufacturers to label products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms.
It would not make companies take GMOs out of food, just label them like they are required to do in China, Brazil, Australia and all of the countries in the European Union.
The argument against Prop 37 is that it would make food prices rise and result in frivolous lawsuits because of imperfections in the way the law is written. Most major California newspapers including Los Angeles Times, LA Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee all say to vote no.
I disagree. I’m a voter and a mother and I want to know what I’m feeding my kids. I’m a label reader because I have to be and I want to know what is in the food I buy. Labeling is huge for me because my husband has Celiac Disease, which means he can’t have wheat, barley, or rye. Up until recently glucose by itself was listed as ingredient in some foods. Now in some stores it’s labeled glucose (wheat). I think consumers should have all the information in front of them when purchasing their food.
Why would I care if ingredients in food at the grocery store are genetically modified? Some studies say that GMOs are perfectly safe and some studies say that more research need to be done because crop testing in the United States is voluntary, which means that some crops are not tested. To learn more, read this excellent breakdown of the Proposition in yesterday’s Washington Post.
Just like labeling calories, sodium, and fat content in foods, I believe consumers have the right to know everything about what they’re consuming.
If you’d like more information here’s Michael Pollan, journalism professor at UC Berkeley and author of “In Defense of Food,” talking about Prop. 37. It’s a long interview, but interesting. If you’d like more information on the California Propositions, see this MomsLA voter guide.
Yvonne Condes is the Editor and co-Founder of MomsLA, a Community of the Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles and Orange County.