From the nutritionist's perspective: Yes on Proposition 37: Required labeling of GMO ingredients.

Post-election update: Narrow Loss; Movement Victory!

This is one of the most important propositions that I have seen brought to the voters since I have lived in California (over 30 years!). It was placed on the ballet through the efforts of California residents whose goal is The right to know what is in our food through labeling. Prop 37 is about a highly concerning set of ingredients called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) that are now in a steadily growing part of our food supply and food products. The GMO process is not the ‘garden-variety’ hybridization that has been used in agriculture for centuries and their are two many questions about its safety not to question whether it is in our food. (See below)

At best, “the verdict is out” as to whether GMO products are a contributing factor in the surge/epidemic numbers of various health conditions and diseases ranging from autoimmune to autism. GMO’s are inherently foreign, physiologically unfamiliar substances. Meanwhile, our complex immune systems are intricately designed to find, flag and attack a wide range of real or perceived foreign substances. Even something as seemingly benign as wheat or dairy that we have consumed for thousands of years, can be or become a highly disordering immune target for a certain percentage of the population. GMO’s at worst is one very scary science experiment that we are unwilling subjects of that may permanently alter our health and the health of future generations. Think: Pandora’s Box. Try: putting the genie back in the bottle…..

Study from Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (2007)

Genetically Modified Maize Reveals Signs of a New Analysis of a Rat Feeding Study with Hepatorenal (Liver/kidney) Toxicity.

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The following from The Right To Know website:

What Are Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)? A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature and is experimental. Many of the foods we currently eat and feed our families (including certain baby formulas and a high percentage of corn, soy, cotton and sugar beets commonly used in processed foods sold in the U.S.) are GMO, but we don’t know which ones without labeling.

To the contrary of No on 37 media blitz, here are the facts around Proposition 37:

No Cost To Consumers

Companies change their labeling all the time, and independent research shows Prop 37 will not affect food prices.

Nurses Do Support Prop 37

Genetically Modified Organisms are linked to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health problems. The Food and Drug Administration has said “providing more information to consumers about bioengineered foods would be useful.”

No New Bureaucracy

Prop 37 is self-enforced and requires no new bureaucracy. The state official analyst has said any costs for enforcement would range from 1 to 3 cents per year for each Californian.

No Loopholes

Prop 37 requires labeling for genetically engineered foods for the groceries you buy. The initiative contains exemptions from labeling requirements for practical purposes, such as food served in restaurants.

Who is Opposed to Proposition 37? Not one human being has made a contribution to the campaign against Prop. 37. Instead, the campaign is funded entirely by giant pesticide and junk food companies with a track record of making false claims about the safety of their products. The “No” campaign’s two largest donors– Monsanto and DuPont—are the same companies that told us Agent Orange and DDT were safe. Further undermining the No campaign’s credibility is the fact that its biggest funder—Monsanto—produced a series of ads supporting labeling of GMOs in Europe in the 1990s.

3,643 Endorsers include:

Most of the major health, faith, labor, environmental and consumer groups in California, including the California Nurses Association, California Democratic Party, California Labor Federation, United Farm Workers, American Public Health Association, Consumers Union, California Council of Churches IMPACT, Sierra Club, Whole Foods Market, Natural Resources Defense Council, Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group, Breast Cancer Fund, Mercola Health Resources, Public Citizen, MoveOn and Food Democracy Now!