Passing Proposition 37 would add unnecessary costs

Proposition 37 would be nothing but a hindrance if passed. And if we don’t act now, food labeling is bound to get out of hand.

To outsiders, Californians are all the same. We all express that cool laid-back attitude with a hint of nonchalant concern towards just about everything. Except where our food is concerned. In that case, we are all deeply interested.

This state’s passion for safe and additive-free food makes California the perfect breeding ground for a measure such as Prop. 37, the Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling Initiative.

Prop. 37 would require the labeling of some foods in grocery stores (meat and dairy are exempt) if they are made from plants or animals that were genetically modified.

This is a potential nightmare for grocers, small and large. Under the terms of the initiative, they would have to manage piles of paperwork certifying that all the food they sell is properly labeled as foods that were genetically modified or not.

The biggest concern for those of us who oppose the proposition is its “enforcement” section, which states: “any person may bring an action in superior court pursuant to this section and the court shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown… the person shall not be required to allege facts necessary to show or tending to show… unique or special individual injury or damages.”

In English, that means Prop. 37 would allow any and every member of the public to become a health inspector for a day. People with little to no food knowledge of the health food industry would have the right to file legislation against companies.

And only a suspicion of non-compliance is necessary.

This could potentially cost corporations millions of dollars and countless hours trudging through lawsuits that could have been avoided.

The larger issue of whether genetically engineered foods are actually as safe as “natural” ones is something Prop. 37 ignores entirely.

Californians are all about the next best trend and “genetically modified” is starting to sound more like a fad all the hipster kids follow rather than an actual concern.

To top it off, we eat genetically engineered foods more than we think. From staple foods like corn and soybeans to the papaya, crossbreeding and hybridization of crops has been practiced and preferred for thousands of years. “Genetic engineering” is simply the trendy new name for it. There’s nothing wrong with supporting safe foods and full disclosure of ingredients to consumers, but Prop. 37 is not the answer to this.

Don’t let your trendy hipster ways blind you from the facts, vote NO on Prop. 37.


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