Family farmers, grocers, food companies and small businesses have all come together to form a grassroots coalition against a proposed ballot initiative that would impose extreme and costly food labeling requirements throughout the state of California. The measure in question has yet to qualify for the ballot, but if it does, critics contend that costs would not only be higher for consumers but also for the family farmers, food producers and grocers who form a vital industry in our economy. Proponents of the proposed measure want all food products that contain “genetically engineered” ingredients to feature a label on the package.
However, opponents point out that this poorly written law is completely unnecessary when one realizes that the majority of packaged food and beverage products contain some GE ingredients, as modern genetic engineering (GE) techniques have been used to develop improved varieties of corn, soybeans, fruits and other foods that grow faster, are more resistant to pests, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, thereby enhancing nutritional and health benefits. Essentially, tens of thousands of products would be affected by the proposed initiative, which would force those in the food industry to navigate a complex process and hamper the competitive edge businesses need to survive.
At a time when the state is struggling economically, the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Initiative is touting the findings of the LAO, which concluded the initiative would cost taxpayers millions of dollars in monitoring, enforcement, and lawsuit costs. And the price of food would also be impacted and some estimates suggest that an average family could face hundreds of dollars per year in higher food costs.
For more about the campaign against the food labeling initiative, see here.
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