Big companies are working very hard to limit your knowledge about what goes into your food.
Proposition 37 is a chance for Californians to send them the message that clear, truthful labeling is a must.
Prop. 37 would require labeling of genetically modified foods. Although some parts of the legislation are vague, including sections governing regulation of the measure if approved by voters, it would nonetheless give people the right to know what they are ingesting.
The makers of genetically modified organisms say they are not harmful, and there is certainly insufficient research on the subject. But if such foods pose consumers no harm, then there should be no harm in labeling the products containing them.
Consumers deserve the information needed to make informed decisions about what to eat. The only viable choice today for people who wish to avoid genetically modified organisms is to eat a fully organic diet containing no processed foods. But this is not viable for people without convenient access to such food or those on a low income — our most-vulnerable population when it comes to matters of food and nutrition.
Other industries have fought similar labeling requirements in the past, saying they would be onerous to implement in just one state. But that is a poor argument for any company with nothing to hide. Companies selling food outside California can henceforth provide them with this same level of disclosure.
Prop. 37 is not perfect and does not address the myriad labeling changes that truly ought to be adopted so that all consumers can make informed decisions about food. But it is a step in the right direction and sends food companies a clear message that they need to hear.