Prop 37: California rejects proposal to label GMO foods

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

California’s proposition 37, which would have required labeling of genetically modified foods, was defeated Tuesday. The “no” votes were ahead 53 to 47 percent with about 90 percent of the vote counted early Tuesday morning.

Opposition to Prop 37 came from a host of companies and individuals – many from outside the state – who injected $36 million into defeating the initiative. Those supporting the measure raised $9.2 million.

Supporters of Prop 37 relied on social media and a strong grass-roots campaign in an effort to sway voters to adopt the nation’s first GMO food labeling law. The state-wide battle was a high-profile fight because it pitted businesses against businesses. Big natural-food companies, celebrity chefs and several organic farmers supported Prop 37, while a variety of traditional farmers and chemical, seed and processed-food firms opposed the measure.

Proposition 37 gained significant exposure outside California, with many new-age food writers and celebrities supporting the measure. People such as The New York Times’ Mark Bittman urged Californians to vote for Prop 37, saying, “even if there were a way to guarantee that food produced with GMO ingredients is not directly bad for you, it remains clear that such food is in general bad for all of us, based on the collateral damage from producing it.”

But such arguments lost steam when local California writers such as The Los Angeles Times Alexandra Le Tellier questioned the science behind some anti-GMO research. “Is it (research) credible?” she asked. “Or is it science for the sake of fulfilling an agenda?” After noting that much of the criticism of GMO foods centered around pesticides, Le Tellier asked, “If the problem is the pesticides, then why isn’t the Proposition 37 labeling initiative about that?”

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (28) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Madeline Loder    
Massachusetts  |  November, 07, 2012 at 08:54 AM

very, very, sad day ..............I'm confident the people will wake up........hopefully soon!

November, 07, 2012 at 09:02 AM

Why is food labeling considered "new age" but genetically modified foods aren't? I was hoping California would be a pioneer in this. Sad to see that outside money won, just like it initially did for Prop 8. I am not a "foodie" or an all-organic, all the time sort of consumer. But yes, I want to know where my food comes from and how it came to be so that I can make choices based on my own research.

San Francisco  |  November, 07, 2012 at 09:05 AM

La Times and Chronicle say we have to prove it's bad before we stop it? Totally illogical. No, it should be proven safe before we use it. This is proof the people are sheep, stupid and easily convinced by ads. I have nothing bit contempt for my fellow Americans, the most disgraceful ignorant pieces of refuse the planet has produced.

San Francisco  |  November, 07, 2012 at 09:05 AM

La Times and Chronicle say we have to prove it's bad before we stop it? Totally illogical. No, it should be proven safe before we use it. This is proof the people are sheep, stupid and easily convinced by ads. I have nothing bit contempt for my fellow Americans, the most disgraceful ignorant pieces of refuse the planet has produced.

November, 07, 2012 at 09:18 AM

That's already been proven.. look at the French study that proves over a lifetime it WILL give you cancer

walnut creek  |  November, 07, 2012 at 09:41 AM

I agree with the other comments, I want to know what is in my food. I don't need someone to tell me that it is ok or not, I am the consumer and I have a right to know what I am buying. I really can't believe a writer for the paper would choose the point of view of science, it is more simple than that, I want to know what I am eating. Not to mention that money seems to buy results in studies until it is too late and we realize that the product is dangerous. I am so disappointed in California voters...

Virginia  |  November, 07, 2012 at 09:46 AM

I don't understand the argument to NOT label GMO foods. I don't understand why people would have voted against it - what's the harm in a little label? Clearly if they are afraid to let the public know about inclusion of GMO foods in their products, there is something wrong with GMO foods. It's criminal to hide ingredients that we ingest from such a wide variety of products. Come on California!

USA  |  November, 07, 2012 at 09:49 AM

$400 a year more in groceries - even if this lie was true = is better than getting cancer. I am so disappointed that the ignorant/poorer people of California voted this down. The wealthier citizens voted YES - as they in general, take better care of their bodies. The sheeple did their no vote damage. At least the GMO debate has been brought into the light. I didn't even know that it was in so many foods until reading about Prop 37.

November, 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I cant believe you want you use that study as a defense, as it was completely written off as poor science in every way. I'm not getting into it but, really find better evidence.

Missouri  |  November, 07, 2012 at 11:45 AM

It has been proven safe. Millions in studies and FDA/USDA certification. I'm a farmer. An example of GMO products I use - glyphosate resistant soybeans - allows me to greatly reduce the chemicals I use on my crops and lowers the amount of fuel needed to grow them. Listen folks, I have kids too. I have studied this issue. I would not feed my kids any product I thought was harmful. I have a lot of people in this world to feed, many of which can barely afford to eat. I have nothing against labeling generally, but this was an effort by those with an anti technology agenda. We need technology in agriculture just like you need it in your daily lives.

Missouri  |  November, 07, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Gary we raise Gmo grains also. However let them label it as such. When the people find they have little to choose from then they might wake up. People will vote for their stomachs

DeLynn Lake    
Michigan  |  November, 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Unbelievable that this did not pass. I have the right and so do you to know where my food is coming from and what is in it so I can make a choice that is good for me. I should not even have to say that. Where are the rights of the people? And who made it a law that that information be with held from me? Yes that is the biggest question!!!!!! Whose decision was that? Did the people vote that into law? How did that become the right of the companies controlling the food? Good argument for buying local - knowing who is growing your food and how it is being grown/raised. That will also bring the economy back where it belongs - local prosperity for all!!!! Check out the documentary Thrive on may not agree with it all but it makes some very interesting and valid points along with some exciting SOLUTIONS.

DeLynn Lake    
michigan  |  November, 07, 2012 at 12:11 PM

If you believe it is safe - great. But do not take my right to choose away from me! Question I have is why would someone want to conceal that information from me. Just for the record I am not anti-technology and maybe you should look at this from more than just your view.

Yakima, WA  |  November, 07, 2012 at 01:22 PM

I am devastated! When will people understand that we need to check all sources, not just main stream, bought and paid for media, before deciding on our right to choose healthy, life-giving food. The changes that are so desperately needed in our unbalanced culture MUST begin at the grass-roots level. We cannot expect "those at the top" to do anything besides "business as usual". The addage "follow the money" is really important now. Who is financing these ads? It is not hard to find out in this age of the internet.

USA  |  November, 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM

The FDA is run by a former Monsanto employee. You, as a farmer using their seeds & herbicides & pesticides, are poisoning the earth and the humans & animals that live on the earth. They can now detect the Bt toxin in unborn fetuses thanks to the farmers who plant the Monsanto/Dupont & other GMO seeds. If you can live with that, more power to you. I find it disgusting to disrespect the only place we have to live & the health of others.

USA  |  November, 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM

Ben - you do know that the Bt toxin is now being found in the fetuses and embryonic sacs of pregnant women. There have been NO STUDIES to show that consuming the Bt toxin from pre-birth to - ??? is safe. You gamble with the lives of those you think you are feeding. They exchange their health for your corn.

San Diego  |  November, 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM

The scare campaign by Monsanto, Coca-Cola & Friends that our grocery bills "would go up by $400 per year" unfortunately worked...needless to say that that is bogus.

Angela Green    
November, 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM

Seriously you would rather save $33 a month and take a risk of eating toxic foods, it just does not make sense to not have the labeling mandatory. California you made a huge mistake and need to pull your heads out of wherever their stuck!!!

SD  |  November, 08, 2012 at 02:15 PM

Dear ladies who are so angry and fearful of food: you DO have the right and definitely the means, to choose foods you KNOW are safe for your local farmers markets, or "health" food stores. The rest of people who prefer foods from plants needing less pesticide and other chemicals (and yes, even 'organic' foods can be treated with some chemicals, and many are) will be happy to support the farmers and researchers doing all they can to keep needed amounts of food for burgeoining populations available and ffordable! Of course, if you are among those all too willing to let food scarcity 'moderate' populations in certain parts of the world, that may not please you. Really, can you truly believe leaders of companies like Monsanto and others you love to hate are foolish enough to poison their partners (the independent farmers who buy their seed) and their CUSTOMERS???? What a ludicrous idea, but then the world still has more Luddites than is reasonable.

Phake Phudes    
Zona  |  November, 09, 2012 at 05:19 PM

Recognize we are being all lied to; ALL GMO food regardless of circumstance, or how it is arrived at or achieved inside a lab; in order for it to be considered modified first MUST genetically become mutated! In reality GMO food = Genetically Mutated =Phake Phude. Aside from being genetically mutated with what amounts to abnormal or novel DNA/genes sequences, these same plants now withstand spray exposure to systemic herbicides ie, Roundup - already a known mutantegenic compound. Once all these existing mutant characteristics are combined either by being spray applied directly to the plants, directly inserted into the plants DNA, directly consumed by humans, or fed directly to grazing livestock only to be eaten later on post slaughter by humans as cooked meat that has been subject to extremely high cooking temperatures makes for the most toxic possible food substances known to exist to mankind, and yet those same packs of lab idots who brought us this Phake Phude sh*t aren't smart enough, cant figure out the why behind children and adults alike all getting sick with all sorts of incurable debilitating diseases. Which part of PHAKE PHUDE MUTANT do they not understand?

Missouri  |  November, 09, 2012 at 05:38 PM

Ah come on. still have your marijuana smoking friends to hang out with and act superior while drinking those $5 lattes and whining about all those imaginary boogie men out there trying to ruin your health. By the way the lattes and marijuana, unlike GMO's, are actually proven to be unhealthy for on your lungs and mind and the other on your wallet!

Missouri  |  November, 09, 2012 at 05:44 PM

Roberta: Just a bit of information for you before you embarrass yourself any further........That BT you refer to in hysterically making the statement that it was found in fetuses may just be related to the fact that the BT bacterium is just that......a common bacteria found in abundance in our natural world. You can also find it in the soil and a multitude of places on the planet.

November, 09, 2012 at 06:38 PM

Is it also criminal to not disclose the disease, weed and insect contamination in non-GMO foods? Increased poductivity of GMO foods has done more to alleviate starvation and save lives any other development in history.

Pasco  |  November, 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I have no problem with the labeling of GMO's. But why not require the non-GMO foods to be labeled? This would make much more sense and be much more cost effective! If non-GMO food producers want to differentiate themselves fine, but don't force everyone else to conform for the minority of the end users. Don't expect us to bend over for you, if you must know that a food is non-GMO, then take the initiative and label your own goods. I'm proud of the CA voters!

Us  |  November, 10, 2012 at 08:56 PM

Hey, Bert... Organic producers are allowed to spray Bt on veggies and still be certified organic (look it up if you don't believe me). So you can't blame this one on GMOs. In fact, GMOs require fewer pesticides than conventional crops so I'm glad this prop failed

November, 12, 2012 at 09:50 AM

Totally agree with Fred. Modern agriculture and the technology apllied by those who toil to feed the world has been a blessing. Imagine trying to supply the world's population with food solely using the approach of grow local and organic. It is precisely because of the strides made in modern agriculture that the non-farming population can pursue other interests including hurling hateful insults while imposing their elitist food attitudes on everyone else. By the way I have nothing against local farmer's markets, organically grown food, etc. but you can't feed the world this way unless a large percent of the population is directly involved in agriculture

Portland  |  November, 12, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I am a food broker in the Pacific Northwest. We sell a variety of non-GMO foods. I have no problem finding non-GMO foods at several markets in the Portland and Seattle. If a person wants non-GMO food it may cost a little more but they are available and easy to find.

November, 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I wish there were labeling. These companies have patent on our food. I do not like GMOs for many reasons but the fact that these companies will control all of our food supply and own our farmers does not sit well with me. Also, I keep seeing them claim that it is not significantly different and does not need labels. You can not have it both ways. Either it is the same and does not need patent OR it is the different substance and needs labels. One more thing, what will our farmers do when we have no exports. More countries do not want the junk and we will only be feeding ourselves soon. Sorry, I forgot....Kellogg's, McDonalds and many others do not source GMO in those countries. Once American wakes up, and demand non GMO here then the companies will leave GMOs.

Kinze 1500 Grain Cart

The Kinze 1500 Grain Cart is engineered for speed and reliability required of custom harvesters. Load up to 1500 bushels ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form