Californian Voters Reject Proposition 3709 November 2012
US - Voters in California have rejected Prop 37, which - if passed - would have required food companies to label products made with genetically modified (GM) ingredients.
The No on 37 campaign, a coalition of family farmers, doctors, scientists, researchers, Nobel Prize winners, retailers, food companies, business groups, taxpayer groups and community groups, said Californians saw through Prop. 37 and rejected the measure.
No on 37 allies argued that Prop. 37 was more than just a simple labeling measure, pointing out that it was misleading, costly and unnecessary based on the science of genetically engineered foods.
"California voters clearly saw through Prop. 37 and rejected higher food costs, more lawsuits and more bureaucracy," said Henry I. Miller, MD, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology.
"Food labeling policy should be based on logic and science, not fear. Leading scientific organizations have all agreed that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients are safe and are not materially different from their traditional counterparts. We're glad the voters rejected this misleading, costly and unnecessary measure."
Many daily newspapers in California urged a "No" vote on Prop. 37.
"Grocery retailers would have been hit the hardest by passage of Prop. 37, through more lawsuits, more bureaucracy and higher costs," said Ronald Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association. "These costs would have been passed on to consumers in the form of higher grocery bills."
"California family farmers can breathe a little easier today," said Jamie Johansson, an Oroville farmer who grows olives to make olive oil. Mr Johansson is also second vice president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
"Prop. 37 would have imposed costly new regulations on California family farmers that no other state requires, putting us at a competitive disadvantage. Thankfully voters understood this and rejected Prop. 37 and voted instead to protect family farmers."