Proposition 37, California’s GMO Labeling Proposal, is Defeated by Voters

Proposition 37, which would have required most foods made with genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled in California, appeared to have failed by mid-day Nov. 7, the morning after the election.

With more than 94 percent of the precincts reporting, the San Francisco Chronicle pronounced it defeated. Another media report from a few hours earlier had “no” votes at just more than 4 million to 3.5 million for “yes.”

We’ve done a fair amount of writing about it the past few months, with even more conversation on our web site. Had it passed, California would have been the first state in the nation to pass such an initiative.

“We said from the beginning that the more voters learned about Prop. 37, the less they would like it," said Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for the opposition quoted in the Chronicle story. "We didn't think they would like the lawsuits, more bureaucracy, higher costs, loopholes and exemptions. It looks like they don't."

"Whatever happens tonight, this is a win," said Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms, co-chair of Yes on 37 – also quoted in the Chronicle. "Never before have millions of Californians come together to support giving consumers a choice about genetically engineered foods."

Opponents argued the processors’ cost of new labels and switching to non-GMO ingredients would have been passed on to consumers, perhaps costing them as much as $400 a year, according to the Chronicle quoting The No Campaign. Opponents to the measure raised more than $45 million and had the backing of large agribusiness and chemical companies such as Monsanto and Dow, as well as food processors, including PepsiCo, according to the Chronicle. The Yes campaign raised about $6.7 million and was supported largely by the organic industry, consumer groups and alternative medicine organizations.

The Chronicle’s full story is at: www.sfgate.com/news/article/Prop-37-Genetic-food-labels-loses-4014669.php#ixzz2BYLZcK7C.

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