Town Square

Label Genetically Modified Foods made it to Nov Ballot

Original post made by PA resident, Greenmeadow, on Jul 7, 2012

Many don’t fully appreciate the strategy of seeking to have genetically engineered foods labeled in California. The belief is that large food companies would refuse to have dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be very expensive, not to mention a logistical nightmare. To avoid the dual labeling, many would likely opt to not use genetically engineered ingredients in their product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones.

This is why we are so committed to this initiative, as victory here will likely eliminate most genetically engineered foods from the US.

Powerful confirmation of this belief occurred in early 2012 when both Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. chose to alter one of their soda ingredients as a result of California’s labeling requirements for carcinogensvi:

“Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label. The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They've already been made for drinks sold in California.”

This is a PERFECT example of the national impact a California labeling mandate can, and no doubt WILL, have. While California is the only state requiring the label to state that the product contains the offending ingredient, these companies are switching their formula for the entire US market, rather than have two different labels. According to USA Today:

“A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and as a result may be found in trace amounts in many foods. "While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning," Garza-Giarlante said in an email.”

Dear Friends and Supporters Of Our Right To Know-

Last night, about two weeks earlier than we thought we'd hear, the Secretary of State announced that the California Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act qualified to be on the November 6 ballot.

We've done it, folks! Against all odds we got on the ballot and now, against all odds, we are going to win in November.

Why? Because over 90% of us want our foods labeled. We believe our right to know what we are buying and feeding ourselves and our kids supersedes corporate rights to a nontransparent profit. We are tired of elected officials buckling to corporate pressure over the clear desires of us, their constituents. We are outraged that we don't have the same right that over 40% of the world's population has: A clear, transparent market with genetically engineered ingredients disclosed in a simple, easy to read way.

Our fight is just beginning, folks. Just 22 weeks from today, we will go to the polls. We are in the fight of our lives while all the world watches what we do here.

Please join us in what many are calling our last fight to get labeling. This is it. We estimate a huge media campaign of misinformation, twisting facts and outright lies. They may have huge financial resources, but they don't have us. We need all of you with us in an active way.


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Posted by Shame
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

What a shame. The forces of anti-science assert themselves again. It shows that it isn't a matter of left or right - the right-wingers oppose stem cell research and global warming, while the lefties oppose genetically modified foods and nuclear power.

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Posted by rBGH
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2012 at 7:43 am

This is like wanting to know whether your food contains rBGH or high fructose corn syrup. Whether it has agave or sugar. Knowledge is good so consumers can make an informed decision.

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Posted by Yes on Prop 37
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Seeds of Freedom. Documentary on the state of the world food supply. Web Link

The initiative to label GMOs in California is now a proposition! Yes on Prop 37!

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm

My pet dog is a GMO. Specifically breed by man, and not a natural organism, or one that could survive in the wild.

Will he need to be labeled?

For that matter Humanity itself is a GMO. The result of millennia of wars and genocide. Not a natural organism, or one that could survive in the wild.

Where would you put my label?

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Posted by Dogfood
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 30, 2012 at 10:14 am

"My pet dog is a GMO"

Outside Observer consumes dog?


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Posted by just thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Will this include all the hybird that have been grown for decades and decades? Will it be limited to plant, or will it include animals and animal produces (i.e. milk, cheese, other dairy products and eggs)?
Will fertilizes produced from manure and composting be sceened for labeling.
Imagine the horror of ingesting brie made from the milk of a free range cow who fed on grasses that had been treated with a contaminated fertilizers?????

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Posted by old style ranch
a resident of Ohlone School
on Jul 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

"ingesting brie made from the milk of a free range cow who fed on grasses that had been treated with a contaminated fertilizers"

Am I so out of the food loop as to think that grass fed beef eats primarily "natural" pasture?

Since when do ranchers fertilize their fields? And doesn't moth synthetic fertilizer come from petroleum? They clearly save compost for crops, not pasture.

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Posted by carbon between my toes--
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm


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Posted by William
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Just for your information: Genetically modified does not mean when breeds are cross bred - it is when the DNA has been modified through engineering, sort of like taking some genetics from a cow and putting in to broccoli in a science glass. That is quite different than cross breeding two different kinds of cucumbers which essentially have very similar genetics.