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Get Out the Vote: Proposition 37, California's GMO Labeling Initiative, Could Mean Change for the Entire Country

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our California News page.

So hey, did you hear? There's an election coming up! And while we all know it's important to vote in the presidential election, in California there's another reason to vote: Proposition 37.

A few weeks back at a panel on food policy in Washington, D.C., which was part of the Association of Food Journalists' annual conference, the panelists were asked what the most important food policy story of 2012 is likely to be. The consensus was California's Proposition 37. Why? Because if the law passes in California, it's likely to open the door to new food-labeling practices nationwide.

Proposition 37, if passed, would require that all genetically modified foods be labeled as such. Supporters of the proposition claim this is important because the safety of genetically modified foods is still unknown, and for now, consumers have no way of knowing if that's what they're buying. (Just last week a study came out that claimed that rats fed genetically modified corn developed cancer, but scientists are now questioning the methodology of that study.)

Fifty countries around the world already require GMO labeling, including all of Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India and China.

Durning the panel in D.C., Barry Estabrook, author of the book Tomatoland and the blog Politics of the Plate, said, "I think the big story is going to be the California referendum on GMOs. It's not a California story. It's a national story."

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