California always has a lot of fun ballot proposals every election cycle. This year is no different. Proposition 37 (how long does it take to vote that ballot?) would require food that contains any amount of GMO food to be labeled as such. Currently, there is no federal or state mandate requiring the labeling of the food because there is no actual difference between regular produce, hybrid produce, or GMO produce. It is all considered safe.
Not only would this proposition be costly to California farmers, it would put them at a severe disadvantage in the national and world marketplace (higher costs mean less competitive). The lawyer in me also wants to make a philosophical Commerce Clause argument, but I’ll refrain.
The Sacramento Bee today published an article highlighting the problems with the proposal and the pitfalls associated with it:
“Proposition 37 is being promoted by its sponsors as a simple measure about food labels. But Proposition 37 is anything but simple. As a recent editorial in The Bee noted, Proposition 37 is “an overreach” and “even voters who worry about genetically modified food should reject Proposition 37.”
Proposition 37 is a poorly written measure that would increase food costs for families by $400 per year, would add millions in new government bureaucracy and red tape, and would establish a whole new class of shakedown lawsuits against family farmers and food companies like mine – without providing any health or safety benefits for consumers.
Proposition 37 amounts to a California-only ban of tens of thousands of perfectly safe, common grocery products containing genetically modified organism (GMO) ingredients, unless they are specially repackaged, relabeled or made with higher-cost ingredients.”
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