Organic Consumers Association

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Will the Natural Products Association Live Up to its Name in the Continued Fight for GMO Labeling?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Organic Transitions page.

As you've no doubt heard, California Proposition 37, which would have required genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled as such and prohibited GE-containing foods to be labeled as "natural" or "all-natural," failed to pass on November 6 by just two percentage points.

 California is reporting that Yes on 37 garnered 48.5 percent of the vote compared to 51.5 percent on the No side.

 This was the net effect of the $50 million dollar No to 37 campaign, which saturated California voters with misleading ads. It's a testament to consumer education that they won with such a narrow margin despite outspending the Yes campaign by tens of millions of dollars.

 What they didn't anticipate was the backlash, and the inevitability of labeling now that so much awareness has been brought about in the media and word of mouth.

 Finally, Americans will have a discussion about genetically engineered monocultures and the dangers they present to our environment and our health. I want to extend my personal thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the Right To Know campaign.

 Just know that there will be plenty of opportunity to keep pushing for GE labeling in the coming year, and if the California ballot did anything, it was to massively increase awareness about GE foods across the US.

 It is a critical first step that US states pass legislation; it is the ONLY way our federal government will take action. I am going to share my opinions about Prop 37 over a series of upcoming articles.

 Here, I want to address the Natural Products Association (NPA) and ask them to protect the integrity of "Natural" and honor consumers' choice. Businesses love to market products as 'Natural' because it has value to the consumer, but what does the consumer expect from 'Natural' goods?

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