Hello all and welcome back! This week we had a pretty significant bill which was in order to pass that hits home for those of you who are California natives. On May 28th, California lawmakers rejected the bill that would require labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO).
This is not the first time that the California lawmakers have seen this proposition hit their desk. In 2012, there was a similar bill that nearly passed in California, which had $46 million in funding by GMO opponents. These opponents included PepsiCo and Missouri-based Monsanto Co, a multinational chemical, agricultural and biotechnology corporation.
As I talked about in my earlier blog, Vermont was the first U.S. state to pass a GMO labeling law, and two counties in Oregon voted last week to ban farmers from growing genetically modified crops within their local boundaries.
Prop 37, which is also known as the “Right To Know” initiative, had big supporters who made sure their voice was heard when this debate was going on. Supporters argued that citizens have the right to know what’s in their food and make an educated decision on what to feed their families. Opponents from the biotech industry and Big Ag companies called the labeling “deceptive” and argued it would stigmatize foods that scientific evidence shows is not harmful. So far, there is little evidence that suggests that GMO foods pose any sort of threat to people’s health. According to CNN.com, major medical groups like the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association, in addition to the American Association for the Advancement of Science note that people have been eating genetically modified foods (about 85% of corn sold in the U.S. are man-made hybrids) for nearly 20 years with no serious adverse effects.
So for now, California stays GMO label free, but with how persistent the supporters have been since 2012, something tells me that this isn’t the last we will hear from them. That’s all for now, see you next time bloggers!