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August 24, 2012 / Todd Larsen

Green America Supports GMO Labeling in California

This fall, California voters can cast their votes in favor of full disclosure for their foods.  Proposition 37 will be on the ballot, and a “yes” vote will require food companies to disclose genetically modified (GMO) ingredients on product labeling.

Green America enthusiastically supports a “yes” vote on Proposition 37. Consumers have a right to know what is in their food, and genetically modified foods pose potential health risks to consumers.

Despite the assurances of the largest players in the food industry, GMO’s are not proven to be healthy and safe. As Green America recently reported, studies on animals demonstrate that GMOs create disturbing and long-term negative health impacts.  Recent studies implicate GMOs in causing negative human health impacts, including a role in accelerating obesity.

In addition, GMOs have negative environmental impacts, including the increased use of pesticides and contamination of non-GMO crops.  Finally, GMO crops have caused hardship to family farmers here in the U.S., whose crops have been contaminated with genetically modified seeds.  They have also harmed famers in the developing world, who were promised greater yields with GMO seeds, but who ended up in increasing debt instead (to read more about the problems of GMOs and to learn which foods to avoid, please read the FrankenFoods issue of the Green American magazine).

Green America supports labeling of GMO foods at the national level, and is a proud supporter of the Just Label It! Campaign.  Our members were part of the one million plus signatures sent to the FDA in support of GMO labeling. We also support labeling at the state level, and if California voters enact GMO food labeling in November, it will likely mean that foods all across the United States will be labeled (since California is such an important market).

Large food companies (including Monsanto, Dupont, and Pepsi) have already poured $25 million into the campaign to defeat Proposition 37.  They claim that food labeling will raise the cost of food.  This is clearly a specious argument.  What food labeling will do is reduce the number of people who buy their products and therefore reduce their profits. The simple answer to that is for major food companies to offer non-GMO products for customers who want them.  Green America will use its voice to encourage major corporations, including those with organic subsidiaries, to expand GMO labeling practices to cover all their product offerings

Clearly human and environmental health should take precedence over corporate profits.  We urge all Green America individual and business members to support Proposition 37.

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