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Worth a listen
Remember California’s Proposition 37, the defunct 2012 ballot initiative that would have required genetically engineered (GE) food sold in the West Coast state to be labeled as such?
Although Prop 37 was narrowly defeated by voters with a final 51-49 tally (and some continue to believe the final vote counts were illegally modified), the massive and very expensive corporate ad campaigns that hit the airwaves in the final days prior to the voting day just barely was successful. The same occurred in the state of Washington's I-522. When polled, the vast majority of citizens want GMO labeling, yet both voter initiatives lost? I smell fish and it ain't the GE salmon either.
California Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) has introduced Senate Bill 1381, which would require GE food labeling within the Golden State.
Evans’ bill is simpler than Prop. 37, according to the Center for Food Safety, which has supported GE labeling initiatives in several states. However, SB 1381 is different from Prop. 37 in how it will either be passed or rejected by the California legislature instead of going before voters.
If approved, the bill would mandate that GE food be labeled appropriately; however, but food containing only some GE ingredients could be labeled “Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”
The bill will not penalize businesses that fail to label GE foods if less than 1 percent of the ingredients in packaged food is genetically engineered or if the producer didn’t know they were using—or didn’t intend to use—GE foods, according to Food Safety News.
The bill provides protections for retail owners who weren’t aware they were selling mislabeled food, and it also blocks legal action against farmers. Action against unknowing retailers and farmers was a concern surrounding Prop. 37, even among those who may have otherwise supported GE labeling.
SB 1381 also does not include a provision that would prohibit GE food from being labeled “natural.”
The bill’s official text cited many justifications. They include:
~ Protecting California’s organic agriculture sector, which has the largest organic farm-gate sales in the country
~ Consumer protection from unintended allergens
~ Consumers’ ability to support more environmentally friendly farming (without having to jump through hoops and scan every product on the grocer's shelves with a mobile app)
~ Protecting wild salmon fishermen in case FDA approves AquaBounty’s GE salmon
~ Polls indicating that more than 90 percent of the American public wants to know if their food was genetically engineered
~ The public's “right to know” justification, to support informed purchasing decisions
The only, and least, argument against SB 1381 is that a slim majority of “Golden State” voters already rejected GE labeling, which could influence how legislators view the bill. However, if I were a legislator, I would look at polling before I cast a "nay", whether I were Democrat or Republican.
+EcoWatch (I'm not into Deike's attitude or penmanship)
SB 1381, as introduced, Evans. Food labeling: genetically engineered
This bill would require that any food, except as provided, offered for
retail sale in the state be considered misbranded if it is entirely or
partially genetically engineered, as defined, and that fact is not disclosed in a specified manner. The bill would prescribe labeling requirements for a raw agricultural commodity that is genetically engineered and packaged foods, as defined, containing some products of genetic engineering.
The bill would also prescribe who is responsible for complying with those labeling requirements. The bill would authorize the Attorney General or an injured resident of the state to bring an action for injunctive relief against a violation of these provisions, as specified.
The bill would authorize a court to award a prevailing plaintiff
reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and would prohibit a court from
awarding monetary damages in an action brought under the bill’s
Because this bill would create new crimes by expanding the number
of foods that could potentially be misbranded and expanding the
definition of the crime of perjury, it would impose a state-mandated
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