A measure that would require most foods made with genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled in California was significantly behind early Wednesday.
Supporters of Proposition 37 said consumers have a right to know whether food has been genetically altered, particularly when the long-term health impacts are unclear. Opponents argued that the labels would stigmatize foods that are scientifically proven to be safe. With more than 94 percent the precincts reporting, voters rejected the proposed labeling law. California would have been the first state in the nation to pass such an initiative.
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“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. “We didn’t think they would like the lawsuits, more bureaucracy, higher costs, loopholes and exemptions. It looks like they don’t.”
The measure calls for genetically engineered foods to include labels on either the front or back of the product. Whole foods, such as sweet corn and salmon, would have a sign on the shelf. Products such as alcohol, beef, eggs and dairy are exempt.
“Whatever happens tonight, this is a win,” said Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms, co-chair of Yes on 37. “Never before have millions of Californians come together to support giving consumers a choice about genetically engineered foods.”
This is baffling, who wouldn’t want to know whats in their food?