warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Prop 37 Recap: Genetically Modified Food Labeling Measure Loses

Omar Shamout |
November 7, 2012 | 2:37 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter


(Neon Tommy/ Dawn Megli)
(Neon Tommy/ Dawn Megli)
Proposition 37 failed at the ballot box in California, delivering natural food advocates a disappointing loss in a match in which they were vastly overspent.

Voters and agriculture industry experts were split over Proposition 37, the highly controversial ballot measure that would require retailers to label any genetically modified food (GMO).

An Oct. 30 USC Dornsife/LA Times poll found that support for the measure eroded 17 points over the last month, with only “44 percent of surveyed voters backing the initiative and 42 percent opposing it.” Early election results largely mirrored the last-minute polls.

That poll came on the heels of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s announcement that a labeling mandate on genetically modified foods would “mislead and falsely alarm consumers,” arguing there is no “credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous.”

Scientific studies on both sides of Prop. 37 came under fire for being biased and misleading. A study authored by two U.C. Davis agriculture professors was lambasted by some scientists because it was reportedly funded by the “No on 37”campaign.” Others described a French study as “below standard” that claimed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn caused cancer in lab rats.

The LA Times endorsed a “no” vote on 37 for a number of reasons. Chief among the paper’s criticisms of the proposition is the requirement that labeling be carried out by producers and retailers.

That’s something farmer Greg Palla told KPCC would cost up to $500,000 to implement – not including any legal fees should he be sued over it. 

But scientist Darya Pino pointed out that food companies relabel products all the time and counters the economic argument with a European study that found labeling GMOs did not result in higher prices for consumers on that continent.



Proposition 37's Flaws Dampen Support For Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

What Proposition 37 Means For Calif. Voters

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the California Propositions here.

Reach Staff Reporter Omar Shamout here or follow him on Twitter.


Live On Twitter


Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.



Anonymous (not verified) on November 7, 2012 8:18 AM

The unfortunate reality is that there isn't any “credible scientific evidence (to show) that these foods are" healthy or good for you. The fact that they want to hide them reveals all. All real tests show that are very dangerous and that THEY PERMANENTLY ALTER YOUR GENETIC MAKEUP AS WELL! Population control is what it is all about.

It may have been poorly written law (on purpose) but it is better than no law and could have been corrected. You have to wonder how many votes they flipped with their fancy vote flipping machines. Both parties are beholden to Monsanto so I would suspect a huge amount of fraud.

Anonymous (not verified) on November 9, 2012 8:01 PM

Hogwash, the people did not buy it. This is an obvious case of massive vote fraud.

Anonymous (not verified) on November 7, 2012 7:23 AM

I'm deeply saddened by this. So many ignorant voters on the dangers of GMO foods. You might as well as call them cancer sticks. Tasty cancer sticks. 45 million in deceptive ads as paid for by Monsanto and DuPont. They are the ONLY ONE"S who will benefit from No on Prop 37. And the people bought it.

Anonymous (not verified) on November 7, 2012 6:40 AM

I like the comment "arguing there is no “credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous.”...uhhh there is evidence - look at our nations health! California, you look so stupid right now. Choosing to believe the people that are killing our kids on box of crap at a time. I HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT I'M EATING and FEEDING MY KIDS!

Dumbfounded..... (not verified) on November 7, 2012 5:45 AM

After watching the results of the election including the Prop 37 defeat, you can see how the Roman Empire crumbled. Brilliant jobs on the part of all of the campaigns showing that money can overcome almost anything. Hold on kids..... the ride is going to start to get rough!

Anonymous (not verified) on November 9, 2012 8:04 PM

Shut up you idiot, we are not that stupid and we voted for proposition 37. What we have here is a case of massive vote fraud.

Anonymous (not verified) on November 7, 2012 5:01 AM

Wow I did not think the people of CA were that stupid....... Monsanto money wins again.

Anonymous (not verified) on November 9, 2012 8:07 PM

Disappointed? What are you talking about? We voted for proposition 37, and it did not fail. What we have here is a case of massive vote fraud.

Anonymous (not verified) on November 7, 2012 4:38 AM

So upsetting. WE JUST WANT TO KNOW! That is all! Such a disappointment California.