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Proposition 37: In Some Circles, GMO Stands for 'God Moves Over'

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

In the battle over Proposition 37, the statewide ballot initiative that would require California to label genetically engineered foods, GMO typically refers to "genetically modified organisms."

But in some religious circles, GMO stands for "God Moves Over."

Proposition 37 enjoys endorsements from groups such as the Sierra Club, the California Nurses Association, the United Farm Workers and the Organic Consumers Association. But many religious and faith-based organizations are coming out in support of the measure because genetically engineered food clashes with religious beliefs, from keeping kosher to being stewards of God's creation.

The California Council of Churches, which represents 1.5 million members, says it supports the measure because it's concerned about the spread of genetically modified organisms in the food chain and because "it is immoral that consumers be left in the dark about what is in their food." The national office of the Presbyterian Church has blogged about the ballot initiative and is urging members to support it. The church passed a GMO policy in 2006 calling on the federal government to include genetically modified food products under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's jurisdiction for testing and approval.

The United Methodist Church, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the country, began to examine its policy on genetically engineered crops in the 1980s. In 2004, the church's highest governing body passed a resolution calling for labeling of all GMOs. In May, the body strengthened its GMO language.

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