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GMO labeling proposition fails in California

Alison Van Eenennaam.
The initiative that would have required special labeling on food that contains genetically modified ingredients failed in California, 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent, reported ABC Rural radio in Australia. Host Anna Vidot talked to Alison Van Eenennaam, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, about the fate of Proposition 37, which on Tuesday received about 4.3 million votes in favor and 4.8 million votes against.

In the eight-minute interview, Van Eenennaam said Proposition 37 was a flawed bill that would only have been applied to processed foods available in supermarkets, leaving out dairy products, fresh meat and restaurant foods.

"I think it was a vote against a really poorly written initiative, that had a lot of loopholes and hidden exemptions and that had this lawsuit provision in there that allowed anybody that saw something mislabeled to sue the grocery store without having to prove damages," Van Eenennaam said.

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 8:57 AM
Tags: Alison Van Eenennaam (25), GMOs (12)


As someone who would like to see eventual truthful labeling, I would just like to say, in defense of the "loopholes" and "hidden exemptions," that the foods that will not be affected, would not be affected for a reason. It is not arbitrary special interest exemptions. Even I, a 21 year old student with no background in law drafting, business, or biotech, can see the logical difference between soy milk and cow's milk, in terms of being GE. If biotech scientists insist that there is "no difference" in GM crops and conventionally bred crops, then they would probably insist even more so that an animal that consumed a GM crop would definitely not have a nutritional difference. By including those products in the law would be taking two steps at once and would jump to even more uncertain conclusions. I just don't understand why I hear so many people in the biotech community talking about these exemptions as if they are "special-interest loopholes" when it is their studies, findings, opinions, and arguments which define and support the distinction between these products and the degree to which they may possibly affect us. Directly engineered plant crop vs. the byproduct of an organism which consumed that GE crop... that's a couple of extra rungs up the "possible nutritional difference" ladder. Also... Alcohol. There is no ingredients list! And the whole "dog food with meat" claim... it's labeled because of the soy and corn byproducts it contains... not the meat. And restaurants do not tell us how much trans fats are in our meal when we sit down to eat, so the GMO labels will be consistent with current information availability.

Posted by Brandon Sanders on November 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM

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