Vote Yes on Prop 37

By Emily Rusch
Executive Director

CALPIRG supports Prop 37 and encourages you to support it, too. 

The concept behind Prop 37 is simple. Should we as consumers know more about what is in our food? Should we know if our food contains genes that are modified through engineering? 

On the face of it, the answer is obvious. Of course! People who care about the information will make shopping decisions based on it. I’m about to become a new parent, so this information is more important to me now than ever before. For those who don’t care, they can ignore the label. 

But Monsanto, DuPont and others have spent $41 million to defeat Prop 37. They are corporate interests looking to protect their pocketbooks, and in the process have cast doubt on the need for genetically engineered labeling. Not wanting to turn a deaf ear to their opposition, we took the time to look into whether there is indeed cause for concern with genetically engineered food. 

We found a number of reasons why you and I would want to know whether our food contains genetically engineered ingredients. 

1. There is no reliable evidence that genetically engineered foods are safe to eat. No long-term comprehensive studies have been conducted, which is enough to steer some consumers away.

2. Many genetically engineered crops are developed specifically to withstand an increased use of pesticides. Genetically engineered crops have resulted in a 7 percent increase in pesticide use since they were introduced. [1] And crops like Monsanto’s sweet corn are genetically engineered to contain an insecticide known as Bt directly in their genes. There may be health risks associated with this increased pesticide use.

3. There are unintentional environmental consequences to genetically engineered crops. These include the spread of “super weeds” that have already become resistant to the chemicals in Roundup and other pesticides used on GE crops, and the loss of biodiversity from the increased use of pesticides. 

Unfortunately, Big Agribusinesses and chemical companies are spending millions in an attempt to convince the public to defeat this measure. The biggest funders of the “No on Prop 37” campaign are Monsanto, DuPont, Pepsi Co, Dow Agrosciences and Bayer Crop Science.[2]

Most of these companies develop and sell either the chemical pesticides used on genetically engineered crops or the genetically engineered seeds, and they are putting profits of ahead of public health and consumers’ rights. 

Especially as someone who is about to become a new parent, it’s important to me that I know what I’m eating, and what I’m feeding my child. 

Vote YES on Prop 37. We have the right to know what is in our food. 

[1] Environment Sciences Europe [pdf], Sept. 28, 2012.
[2] Voters Edge California, Oct. 29, 2012.


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