It's Official: GMOs will be on California's Ballot.
Yesterday 971,126 signatures were dropped off at locations throughout California, the culmination of a ballot initiative to label GMOs in the Golden State. The almost a million signatures, gathered in a 10-week period by volunteers of the California Right to Know campaign, is nearly double the 555,236 signatures the campaign needs to qualify for the ballot. California officials will take at least several weeks to certify the initiative, but people on both sides of the issue expect it to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are experimental plants and animals that have been genetically engineered in a laboratory with DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses. Although GMO ingredients are found in 80% of packaged foods in the U.S., they have not been proven safe as the long term consequences of GMOs on our health and environment have not been adequately investigated. If passed this November, Californians will join citizens of almost 50 countries including all of Europe, Japan and even China who have the right to know whether they are eating GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) food.
At yesterday's Los Angeles County rally mothers, grandmothers, organic farmers, and students came together to celebrate their collective work. Their county's portion of the drop off contained 232,409 signatures. Each box weighted 37 pounds, with the entire payload coming in at 188 pounds of signatures.
The want to label GMO foods has the uncanny ability collect unanimous support across the political spectrum. A March 2012 Mellman Group poll found that 9 out of 10 American voters favor labeling for genetically engineered food.
"In a country seemingly dominated by partisan polarization on everything from the cause of hurricanes to the state of the economy, it’s hard to find issues, outside of motherhood and apple pie, that can muster over 90 percent support. In a recent survey for Just Label It, we found one...," pollster Mark Mellman wrote in a recent article in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.
"Voters express almost unanimous support for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. An arresting 91 percent of voters favor an FDA requirement that “foods which have been genetically engineered or containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled to indicate that.”