Wednesday, March 21, 2012

California's Label GE Foods/GMOs Ballot Initiative

As the Just Label It! campaign approaches one million comments to the FDA demanding the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, there's another important battle being waged in the fight to label GE foods.

(If you haven't sent a comment yet, click here to do so. It takes about 15 seconds and our children and grandchildren will thank you. The goal is one million emails by Monday, when the comment period closes. Every person makes a difference.)

In California, signatures are being collected to have the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act added as an initiative measure to the state's November 2012 election ballot.

Getting the initiative on the ballot would be an achievement, but a victory in November could positively alter the future of food in this country, since California—by itself—represents the world's eighth-largest economy.

Similar to when the auto industry has to bend to California state law in respect to mileage and emission standards (Ford isn't going to build one Focus for California and a second for the rest of the country), the processed food and chemical companies would have to rethink how they do business if the 80 percent of the processed foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were labeled as such.

Obviously, Kellogg's doesn't want America to know that its iconic Corn Flakes are made using genetically engineered corn, especially since over 90 percent of Americans (a consistent number from numerous surveys) think GE foods should be labeled. Yet, the percentage of Americans who know what GE or GMO means in the context of food is shockingly low, a fact that Kellogg's doesn’t want to see change anytime soon.

Over 50 countries either require GE labeling or have banned GE foods. Big Food and Big Ag will fight this in the United States with all their dollars, political connections and marketing savvy. Can People Power succeed?

Click here to read more about the California ballot initiative.
Click here to learn more about genetically engineered (GE) foods.


Peter said...

Rob, GMO and GE are not the same thing. GMOs have been around for hundreds of years. Broccoli, for example, is a GMO, produced by selective breeding. Genetic engineering (GE)is the process of inserting genetic matter by recombinant DNA technology. I'll email you a fuller explanation.

Chef Rob said...


Thanks for the fuller explanation. I'll include it in an upcoming post.