Voters in California yesterday defeated Proposition 37, a proposed law that would have required food packagers to label all products made from genetically modified animals or plants.
This law, had it passed, would have put California at direct odds with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which does not demand GMO labeling.
Such labeling is required by every member country of the European Union, as well as many other nations.
Supporters of the proposition argued that the long-term health implications of ingesting GMO products have not been fully investigated and that GMO crops are increasingly resistant to herbicides. Opponents claim the new labeling would cost the average household more than $400 a year in additional grocery costs. More than 70% of all processed foods sold in the United States now contain genetically engineered ingredients, typically corn or soybeans.
Opponents heavily outspent supporters by a margin of more than 8:1. Among the companies that gave millions to defeat Prop 37 were Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Agrosciences, Kraft Foods and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.
- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog