Proposion 37: Mandatory Labeling of Genecally Engineered Foods A California Ballot Measure
Proposion 37: California Right to Know Genecally Engineered Food Act Requires Front of Package label for GMO: “Gene%cally Engineered” “Par%ally Produced with Gene%c Engineering” “May be Par%ally Produced with Gene%c Engineering” Prohibits Natural labeling: “Natural” “Naturally made” “Naturally grown” “All natural” For all GMO products For all processed foods, including canned, smoked, pressed, cooked, frozen, dehydrated, fermented, milled, etc.
Proposion 37: California Right to Know Exempons Foods cer%ﬁed as organic Foods consis%ng of or derived en%rely from animals Alcoholic beverages Foods eaten away from home Foods made using GE processing aids or enzymes
Proposion 37: Timing and Thresholds Eﬀecve date for label changes: July 1, 2014 Exempon for processed foods unl July 1, 2019: Contain 10 or fewer GMO ingredients; and No single GMO ingredient accounts for more than 0.5% of the food’s total weight ASer July 1, 2019 Threshold drops to 0%
Proposion 37: Enforcement State, local or private pares Injunc%ve relief No need to show: Inadequate remedy at law Irreparable harm Individual injury ONLY need to show failure to label product containing GE materials No requirement to give no%ce to aUorney general or alleged violator no%ce Plain%ﬀ can recover aUorneys’ fees and costs California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) Damages – actual, res%tu%onary and puni%ve Must give alleged violator 30 days no%ce and opportunity to cure
Real Intent? Ban Ag Biotechnology “label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones” -Joseph Mercola, mercola.com“If we pass this initiative… we will be on our way togetting GE-tainted foods out of our nations food supply forgood.” -Organic Consumers Association
Most voters have heard something about GMOs, but few are well-‐informed Have you seen, heard, or read anything about genetically engineered foods, also called genetically modified organisms, or GMOs? Yes, a great deal Total Yes Yes, a liUle 72% No, have not seen/heard anything Q3.
Conceptually, California voters overwhelmingly support a labeling law In general, do you favor or oppose requiring labels on genetically-engineered foods or foods containing genetically-engineered ingredients? Total Favor 83% Total Oppose 11% Q6.
Inial Support for the Measure was Strong (Feb 2012) Total Yes 64% Total No 29% Q6.
Focusing on “ﬂaws” provoke greater opposion than a frame about the beneﬁts of G.E. foods Benefits of G.E Foods Flaws of the Measure Definitely yes 25% Total 22% Total Probably yes 21% Yes 11% Yes Undecided, lean yes 4% 50% 4% 36% Undecided, lean no 3% 4% Total Total Probably no 18% No 22% No Definitely no 21% 42% 30% 56% Undecided 8% 8% 0% 20% 40% 60% 0% 20% 40% 60%
The Strategy Focus on provisions and ﬂaws of Proposi%on 37 Safety of Biotech foods: Reinforcement message, but not key to winning
Public Polling California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University Poll Television Advertising 9/26: 67% yes; 22% no 10/30: 39.1% yes; 50.5% no Final Vote: 47%Y, 53%N
Is it Over? “Net net, we believe consumers con%nue to voice their concerns about GMOs and think this debate will persist regardless of the Prop 37 outcome . . . . “ Eﬀorts underway in Washington, Oregon, Connec%cut & Vermont Pressure against FDA “I think we’re going to get some victories in the next 12 months, and this will put addi%onal pressure on the federal government.”
Compliance: What Foods Would Have Been Aﬀected? 88% of corn 94% of soybeans 40-‐70% of all food sold in grocery stores 34% of all food expenditures, adjusted for exemp%ons GMO Ingredients: • Corn ﬂour, oil, starch & syrup • Fructose, dextrose, glucose, beet sugar • Soy ﬂour & protein • Vegetable protein and oil • Canola oil
1 Billion people are undernourished By 2050, we will have two more Chinas to feed Only about 12% more land, most of it marginal, is available to put into produc%on globally Each year, lack of food kills more people worldwide than war, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined “If we pass this initiative… we will be on ourway to getting GE-tainted foods out of our nationsfood supply for good. ”