California GMO-Labeling Ballot Measure Fails
The New American
by Raven Clabough
Voters in California voted against Proposition 37, the initiative that would have mandated genetically engineered foods be labeled, on Tuesday. The final results on the ballot measure were 53.1 percent opposed to the measure and 46.9 percent in favor.
California was the first state to allow voters, instead of lawmakers, to decide whether labels like “This product contains GMOs” will appear on food packages. Advocates of labels in California managed to garner one million signatures on a petition to get Proposition 37, also know as the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, on the November ballot.
While the California Right to Know campaign was fought on behalf of Proposition 37, major biotech companies such as Monsanto fought to counter it through the “No on 37” campaign, on which over $45 million was spent.
As noted by Rodale News, genetically modified ingredients are “derived from lab-created plants that have been genetically modified to resist (and sometimes even create their own) toxic pesticides, withstand drought, or produce higher yields.”
A recent study conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen in France provoked concerns about the use of GMOs with a study in which a Monsanto seed variety known as NK603, made tolerant to the company’s Roundup herbicide, was fed to rats. The rats fed the GM corn developed tumors and experienced kidney and liver damage. Natural Society explains: “As a result of the mass tumors, liver and kidney damage, it was concluded that around 50 percent of the males and 70 percent of the females died prematurely as a result of eating only Roundup tolerant seed or drinking water with Roundup [at] approved levels set by the United States government.” Rats that drank trace amounts of Roundup at levels that are legally permitted in the water supply had a 200-percent to 300-percent increase in large tumors over rats drinking uncontaminated water, and rats that consumed the GM corn.
Natural News notes, “This is the same corn that’s in your corn-based breakfast cereal, corn tortillas and corn snack chips.”
The study may potentially lead to the widespread suspension of use of genetically modified corn throughout Europe. But in the United States, a measure to simply label the GMOs could not pass.