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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

What Proposition 37 Means For Calif. Voters

Omar Shamout |
September 25, 2012 | 9:00 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
Summary: Proposition 37 would require labeling of genetically modified foods that are sold in stores and prevent them from being advertised as “natural.” If you’re wondering what exactly a genetically modified food is, the World Health Organization has got you covered. 

(Proposition 36 Could Fix Several California Problems)

Supporters and Donors: Major funding of Prop 37 comes from Mercola Health Resources, which is headed by Joseph Mercola, an osteopath who lives in Chicago. Organic Consumers Fund and Nature’s Path Foods also support the measure, and the three entities have contributed almost $2.5 million to the campaign’s almost $4 million total. The California Democratic Party is in favor of Prop 37, according to KCET.

Argument in Favor: Proponents argue that Prop 37 will allow consumers to know what they are buying and eating, pointing out that 40 countries now require similar labeling, and some scientists and doctors have linked genetically engineered foods to health problems.

(Prop 36 Wants To Reform "Three Strikes" Law)

Opponents: Monsanto and other big food and biotech companies such as Dupont, Dow, Pepsico, Coca-Cola and Nestle. Monsanto has contributed over $7 million of the “No on 37” campaign’s huge $32 million total. The California Republican Party is against Prop 37.

Arguments against: Critics say the $1 million cost to tax-payers needed by the state to enforce labeling practices is too much, and that the law would spark thousands of new lawsuits against farmers and food companies, while also forcing them to raise prices. Opponents argue that Prop 37 is unnecessary since institutions such as the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization have deemed genetically modified foods safe.

The Ads:

The “Yes on 37” campaign highlights misinformation campaigns launched by food and chemical companies in the past to argue that Californians have a right to know what is going in the food they buy.

The “No on 37” campaign focuses on a few discrepancies that might arise as a result of the new labeling system:


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of California's propositions here.

Reach Staff Reporter Omar here; follow him on Twitter.



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