Organic Consumers Association

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Prop. 37 Backers Vow to Continue Food Regulation Efforts

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

SACRAMENTO - Despite Tuesday's loss at the polls, proponents of labeling genetically engineered foods vowed to press ahead for tougher regulation nationwide of food with genetically manipulated ingredients.

By 53.1% to 46.9%, voters defeated Proposition 37, a ballot measure that would have made California the first state in the nation to require such labels on some fresh produce and processed foods, such as corn, soybeans and beet sugar, whose DNA has been altered by scientists.

The measure fell victim to a media blitz bankrolled by $46 million in campaign contributions from big biotech companies, including Monsanto Co., grocery manufacturers and agricultural firms.

Opponents successfully argued that Proposition 37 was expensive, bureaucratic and full of illogical loopholes for certain foods, such as meat, dairy products, eggs and alcoholic beverages.

But Proposition 37 co-Chairman Dave Murphy said in a Wednesday conference call that millions of Californians supported the measure and their concerns remain valid. "We believe it's a dynamic moment for the food movement, and we're going forward," he said.

Consumers in California and the rest of the country should have the same "right to know" what's in their food that shoppers have in 61 countries around the world, the Yes campaign insisted.

The food industry said it would oppose attempts to take the fight to other states or to Washington, D.C.

Proposition 37 garnered 4.8 million No votes, compared with 4.3 million votes in favor.

The initiative led in most coastal counties, including Los Angeles County, but lost big in the agricultural strongholds of the Central Valley.

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