Prop 37, Food-Labeling Measure, Fails

Prop 37, Food-Labeling Measure, Fails

Proposition 37, the ballot initiative that would have made California the first in the nation to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on processed foods, has failed, receiving 46 percent of the vote with 82 percent of precincts reporting.

The news is seen as a blow to many in the whole foods movement, who had hoped that a victory would propel the issue of GMOs to a national level. Last week, Dave penned his case for supporting the measure.

This morning, the Yes on 37 campaign, dubbed California Right to Know, gave an upbeat statement, calling the movement "a strong beginning."

Yesterday, we showed that there is a food movement in the United States, and it is strong, vibrant and too powerful to stop. We always knew we were the underdogs, and the underdogs nearly took the day. Dirty money and dirty tactics may have won this skirmish, but they will not win the war.

Today, we are more than 4 million votes closer to knowing what's in our food than when we started. This is a victory and a giant step forward. We are proud of our broad coalition of moms and dads, farmers, nurses, environmentalists, faith and labor leaders who did so much with so few resources to bring us to this point, and we will carry forward.

Those in the "no" camp argued that Prop 37 would result in higher grocery bills and unleash a new category of unsubstantiated lawsuits. Christie Wilcox of Scientific American writes that there is no evidence that GMOs, as a blanket group, are dangerous, and that the measure "a sloppily written mandate in a attempt to discredit all genetic engineering as a single entity."   

Hours after the polls closed, when it appeared that the measure would not pass, No on 37 spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks told the Associated Press, "We've said from the beginning of this campaign that the more voters learned about Prop 37, the less they'd like it. We didn't think they'd like the lawsuits, more bureaucracy, higher costs and loopholes and exemptions. It looks like they don't." 

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