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That bill is going to pass whether Monsanto likes it or not.
Originally posted by turbokid
Does anyone know why the regular food companies are fighting the GMO labeling so hard? Have any companies come forward with their side of why they dont want to label the products? any links to that info would be nice to read.
We spent some of our weekend combing through the study, and then chatted with Stacy Malkan, spokesperson for California Right to Know. Here are some of the arguments we predict will be bandied about over the next 76 days until the November election.
TP: Some claim Proposition 37 has a zero-tolerance policy for accidental traces of GMO.
SM: That’s incorrect. Prop 37 says that the producer has to show evidence in the form of an affidavit that shows they’re not intentionally growing or using genetically modified crops.
TP: Will food labeled “organic” be exempt from testing?
SM: Yes. Certified organic will not be tested because it already falls under rules established by the USDA organic standards.
TP: Opponents of Prop 37 say there is no science-based mandate justifying the labeling of foods, and they add that the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization agree. Those are big guns. What’s your position?
SM: The American Medical Association said we should have mandatory safety testing of GM foods, and the U.N. says there are global consequences. GM ingredients should be safety tested, and we do not have that system here in the U.S. No evidence means just that, no evidence.
TP: Colin Carter argues that a consequence of Prop 37 would result in most products carrying the label and that because of the saturation; most consumers would just ignore the label.
SM: Information on labels is for people who seek that information.
TP: Food manufacturers will have to look for inferior, non-GM substitutes, like imported palm oil, which has its own set of environmental problems. True or false?
SM: It’s speculation whether they would turn to palm oil. There is still corn and soy that is not genetically engineered. Those foods are available here. I think it’s up to the market to decide. You give the market information, and consumers get to decide what to buy and eat.
TP: Exemptions from labeling include alcoholic beverages, restaurants, ready-made food, food entirely derived from animals as well as any food certified as USDA organic. True?
TP: Prop 37 would prohibit food labels with the message “natural,” “naturally grown,” etc. True or false?
SM: That’s misrepresentative. Prop 37 would prohibit foods containing genetically engineered ingredients from being labeled natural—because they’re not. (Indeed, lawsuits over what is natural are increasing nationwide, including claims that do not center around the genetic modification conversation. —TP)
TP: The No on 37 campaign claims the ballot measure will mean an avalanche of lawsuits. Is there any truth to that?
SM: They’re talking about headhunter lawsuits, meaning lawyers get an incentive to sue. But that’s a good point on how they’re making inaccurate claims around lawsuits. I can sue someone right now for having false claims on their label. We don’t expect there will be many lawsuits, because companies do label accurately. They label accurately now for calories, fat content and allergy information. And we expect they’ll label accurately for GE ingredients too, and not open themselves up to lawsuits.
TP: Is it true that the added burden of labeling will cause grocery prices to rise?
SM: Companies get 18 months to change their labels, and most do already within that time frame. It’s a simple, business-friendly law. Prop 37 allows them to put the label anywhere on the package, unless it’s a whole food, like GMO sweet corn, and then there needs to be a sign on the shelf as well.
Consumers have broad food choices today, but could be denied these choices if Prop 37 prevails. Accordingly, we are supporting NO on 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme, a coalition of California farmers, food producers, grocers and retailers formed to oppose Proposition 37. The NO on 37 coalition includes stakeholders involved in producing, manufacturing and selling food products. Interestingly, the main proponents of Proposition 37 are special interest groups and individuals opposed to food biotechnology who are not necessarily engaged in the production of our nation’s food supply. They are gearing up a campaign of misinformation.
Labeling and Consumers’ Food Choices
Opinion surveys consistently report that consumers support FDA’s current labeling policy – mandatory labeling for important nutrition or safety information. Food companies can and do provide additional information voluntarily to meet the preferences of their customers. Hundreds of organic or certified non-GM products are available for consumers who prefer these products. This approach offers choices for all consumers and does so without the risk of confusing consumers who are satisfied with the products they know, trust and can afford.
Impact on Food Safety Confidence
Food safety is a top priority for consumers as well as those involved in producing and selling food products. Proponents of the California labeling proposal are misleading people about the safety of food in the marketplace, and their opinions are in stark contrast with leading health associations and government agencies. For example, the American Medical Association just re-affirmed that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods. FDA says that such labeling would be inherently misleading to consumers.
Leading proponents of Proposition 37 blatantly describe foods containing GM ingredients as untested and unsafe. This is simply untrue. Beneath their right to know slogan is a deceptive marketing campaign aimed at stigmatizing modern food production. While we respect that some people may choose to avoid GM ingredients, it is wrong to mislead and scare people about the safety of their food choices. The California proposal would serve the purposes of a few special interest groups at the expense of the majority of consumers.
The Right Thing to Do
Farmers have seen the environmental and economic benefits of modern food technologies for more than 15 years. Food companies see Proposition 37 as threatening the public’s confidence in the safety of their products. Both have encouraged us to join with them in the effort to oppose the California proposition. We agree and believe that supporting the NO on 37 coalition is the right thing to do.
I don't care what they say. If their product were safe they would not need to hide them in the ingredients.
Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by JohnPhoenix
Do you remember the Alar controversy about 20-25 years ago? The claim was that Alar used on apples was poisonous, and the press broadcasted the claims all over. Not surprisingly, the apple industry was badly hurt. Later, it turned out to be an intentional fraud, designed to raise money for the National Resources Defense Council.
I wonder if that's possible here? I don't know of course, but that have been so many claims that were just wrong from the start, that I'm a little nervous.