Proposition 37 on the upcoming California ballot is a high-stakes food fight with national implications. The measure would bring California, and by extension the United States, in line with the various GMO disclosure requirements already in place in Europe, Australia and Japan. Advocates for GMO labeling say consumers have a right to know if they are eating "Frankenfood." Food companies, led by Monsanto, Cargill, and General Mills, along with other critics, say disclosure would be misleading and alarm consumers. A Reuters story recently reported the proposition “could upend the U.S. food business from farm to fork if it prompts makers of popular foods to dump GMO ingredients.”
What do we know about the safety of food with GMO ingredients? How would labeling impact the national food system? How much would it cost? Polls indicate voters favor GMO disclosure, but opponents, led by Monsanto, have a hefty war chest. A lively debate about one of the most controversial issues in the upcoming election.
Climate One joined a panel discussion on the issue with two guests on each side of the debate. Jesus Arredondo is principal and founder of Advantage Government Consulting in Sacramento. Kent Bradford is director of the Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis. Ken Cook is president of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Jessica Lundberg is with Lundberg Family Farms, which grows rice up near Chico.