By Carol Dreibelbis
On November 6, California citizens will vote on Proposition 37. This ballot initiative would require labeling of raw or processed foods made with genetically modified (GM) materials and prevent GM foods from being labeled as “natural.”
Trader Joe’s currently refuses to support labeling of GM foods through Proposition 37 (Photo credit: www.SumOfUs.org).
Mark Bittman, a food writer for The New York Times, explains that Proposition 37 is not just a ban on GM foods: “it’s a right-to-know law.” He continues, “We have a right to know what’s in the food we eat and a right to know how it’s produced.” Bittman points out that Proposition 37 has received bipartisan support in California as well as across the country (91 percent of American voters support the labeling of GM foods).
Despite widespread support for Proposition 37, Trader Joe’s—one of the largest organic retailers in the country—currently refuses to support the ballot initiative, even though Whole Foods Market and other competitors have already shown their support for the labeling of GM foods. At the same time, agribusiness companies like Monsanto are funding hefty campaigns to defeat Proposition 37.
Even if you are not a citizen of California, you can have a say in this election. If you would like to find out more about Proposition 37 and encourage Trader Joe’s to support the initiative, you can read and sign this petition by SumOfUs, a movement for corporate accountability.
According to Claremont McKenna College professor Jack Pitney, the election in California will have ripple effects across the country: “If manufacturers change national labeling practices to conform to California law, the effects will show up on every grocery shelf in America.”
Carol Dreibelbis is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.
To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE.
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