Labeling GMOs: The potential effects of the California labeling initiative

As consumers, we already eat (and have been eating for decades) genetically engineered crops such as wheat, corn and soy, as well as the products made from them. We just don’t know when we’re doing it. Prop 37 aims to change that by requiring a label on these products (you’ll alternately hear them referred to as genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s). Prop 37 would take the added step of prohibiting such products from being labeled “natural.”

The text of the proposed law does include several exemptions, including foods that are certified organic, contain only small amounts of genetically engineered material, or are sold for immediate consumption (as in, at a restaurant). These exemptions are the source of complaints that Prop 37 serves certain special interests.

Consumers: Consumers are currently armed with information about the foods on the shelf at the grocery store, including the nutritional content and whether a product is certified organic. Prop 37 would give them one more layer of information. Opponents of the measure claim, however, that such knowledge will come with a cost, as food producers raise their prices to compensate for labeling or using more expensive non-GM ingredients.

Food Producers: Some farmers and food producers will be required to print new labels. They may also have to decide whether to make big changes in how they grow or produce their food in order to avoid getting slapped with the label.

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View the original article here: Labeling GMOs: The potential effects of the California labeling initiative

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