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GM Crop Debate Heats Up as California Labeling Vote Nears

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

With California set to vote in November on labeling of food made from genetically modified crops, pressure is mounting on the federal government to tighten regulation of these crops and the foods they become.

The "Right to Know" measure on California's ballot November 6 would require labeling of any food sold in the state containing ingredients made from genetically modified crops (GMOs). If the measure passes, it would be the first such U.S. labeling law, and so far polls have shown strong support for the measure.

Notably, a national labeling campaign is also underway. Both efforts come at a time when more scientists are calling for mandatory U.S. safety testing of GM crops before they go to market. And internationally, alarm bells are sounding over a range of GMO-related impacts. These include super weeds that have developed resistance to heavy use of herbicides and studies indicating tumors in GMO-fed rats and other health problems.

While other studies show GM crops are safe, pressure is building on U.S. regulators, who have repeatedly deemed any labeling or regulatory safety testing unnecessary.

"It might be a tipping point," said Cory Andrews, senior litigator at the Washington Legal Foundation, a pro-business, law and policy group that has been involved in GMO litigation supporting Monsanto Co., the world's largest developer of genetically modified crops.

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