California's GMO Labeling Law Isn't the Answer

How Prop 37 restricts speech and needlessly meddles in consumer choice.

In November, California voters will consider whether the state can force sellers of genetically modified foods and other organisms (GMOs) to slap a “GMO” label on their products.

The state ballot measure, which also includes other provisions, is formally known as the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative

Prop 37 supporters—including organic producers in California and elsewhere—argue that the law is necessary to help consumers make informed choices. Just Label It, a group set up to push the measure, cites polls showing more than 90 percent of Americans support labeling of products that contain GMOs.

Prop 37 opponents, not surprisingly, see things differently. Led by Monsanto (which has donated more than $4 million to the campaign to defeat the measure, outpacing all other donors), they argue that the law would be unconstitutional, would increase food prices, and would create a government-mandated scarlet letter.

Critics of Prop 37 also compare the measure to Prop 65, another California ballot initiative that voters approved in 1986. That measure, ostensibly requiring warnings on products known to cause cancer or birth defects, "has benefited almost no one but litigators," writes Walter Olson of the Cato Institute.

"Even as cancer remains just as much of a problem in California as elsewhere," Olson writes, "a cadre of lawyers in the state have made many, many tens of millions of dollars filing inadequate-labeling suits against purveyors of such products[.]"

What are some of those products? They’re probably not the ones you might think.

As I noted in a 2010 Chapman Law Review article, "The California Effect and the Future of American Food," Prop 65 "requires proprietors of restaurants that serve olives, bread, and chicken to warn customers that they sell cancerous products" because each of those foods (and hundreds of others) contain trace amounts of substances known to cause cancer in rodents.

It’s not that these substances are somehow added by evil food companies to olives, bread, and chicken. Rather, the substances occur naturally in these prepared foods. Still, a seller’s options under Prop 65 are almost a Hobson’s choice: label or be sued.

Consequently, in addition to enriching litigators in the state, Prop 65 has created the absurd but necessary (to avoid litigation) practice of food sellers in the state overwarning to such an extent that the warnings lose any meaning they might otherwise have had.

That same flaw in Prop 65 would no doubt be evident under Prop 37, which would make not just the producer of a food product but also any seller further down the stream of commerce (from wholesalers to grocers to food trucks and restaurants) strictly liable for any food containing GMOs sold without either the requisite labeling or a sworn statement from the original manufacturer or producer of the food. It appears to be for this reason that the Natural Products Group, a trade association that includes members like Burt’s Bees, opposes the ballot measure.

The nonprofit I lead, Keep Food Legal, neither advocates in favor of nor against GMOs (consistent with our advocacy of food choice, rather than food choices). So I’m neither here to extol the virtues of GMOs nor to damn their evils.

But on the issue of mandatory GMO labeling, I view Prop 37 as needless meddling in consumer choice and an unconstitutional intrusion into both the economic rights of food sellers and the FDA's authority in the area of food labeling.

But it's the FDA—rather than Prop 37 supporters—that's really to blame for giving rise to the measure. After all, if the agency didn’t have in place its own unconstitutional policy of severely restricting how makers of non-GMO foods can tout the non-GMOness of their products, I hazard there would be little or no impetus for the California law.

So I’d like to see Prop 37 fail. But I’d also like to see Prop 37 opponents support serious reform at the federal level by urging the FDA to reconsider its opposition to voluntary labeling that would permit non-GMO producers and sellers to openly tout their products as such. From a First Amendment perspective, the right to speak is, after all, on par with the right not to speak—which is largely what Monsanto and other Prop 37 opponents are fighting for here.

I’d also like to see more non-GMO food producers opt out of the USDA’s largely meaningless "organic" labeling certification regime and instead consider private certification, an increasingly attractive alternative to FDA labeling policy in general and (potentially) California law.

By respecting the rights of those with whom they disagree, both opponents and supporters of GMOs can find common ground and protect their own rights to eat what and how they please.

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  • Fluffy||

  • RBS||

    So did John go full warboner yesterday?

  • Cytotoxic||

    No Fluffy just being a retard.

  • ||

    What I find funny about the riots in Australia is that the consulate in Sydney is on something like the tenth floor of a downtown office building. You wouldn't even know it was there if you weren't looking for it.

    I'd bet most of the passers-by were wondering why there were a bunch of people doing an anti-American riot outside a building that looks like it just has a bunch of insurance company and lawyers' offices in it.

  • Fluffy||

  • ||

  • Cytotoxic||

    No it's not enough. You really have to protect the embassy, not just condemn stuff.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    A southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff's station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/s.....maker.html

  • RBS||

    WTF?

  • ||

    So when is the fatwa being announced? Or is that too 80s?

    Salman Rushdie had a pretty interesting mini-biography in the latest New Yorker. It was written in the third-person, which was sort of weird, but it was cool to read about what it's like to be fatwa-ed.

  • wareagle||

    fatwahs never go out of style. Along with Rushdie, we have the Danish cartoon folks, a Dutch politician, and I think even an American teacher who was behind a "draw Mohammed" day project.

  • Ken Shultz||

    From the CBC link:

    Nakoula pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and was ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

    Doesn't look like they're going after him for the content of the movie.

    If he's been convicted of "financial crimes", and he ends up in the headlines for financing an expensive film production under a pseudonym, they may just be asking him about where he got his money. Did he use the internet--'cause he's not supposed to do that.

    I wouldn't put it past Obama and Co. to throw him in jail on some pretext--just to assuage the Muslim street until Obama gets himself reelected, but it doesn't look like they're harassing him just becasue of the movie's content.

  • ||

    "....to assuage the Muslim street..."

    He may try, but Captain Incompetent will fail at this as well. It doesnt look like they want to be assuaged. The only thing cathartic for them is is an orgy of fire, destruction and death. Savages are savage.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's what they said about libertarians after Oklahoma City bombing.

    That's a whole lotta people you just lumped into a tiny little ball.

  • RBS||

    He didn't say "all muslims" he said savages, like the ones who attack everything when their feelings get hurt.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Read it again.

    He was referring to the "muslim street".

  • ||

    Perhaps I was improperly generalizing, but I am looking at the muslim street on tv right now and it is on fire all over the world.

    Maybe it is what it looks like.

  • RBS||

    You might have over generalized a bit but somehow I was able to figure out what you meant without going all Ken Shultz on you. And yes, it is what it looks like.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Surely you've noticed that there are people out there who try to conflate terrorism with Islam.

    There about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.

    If what you see on television looks like less than 1% of the Muslim street out there, then, yeah, it's exactly what it looks like.

    Obama doesn't want to see that 1% out there, and they do often represent the most radical opinions of the Muslim street. However, their extremeness doesn't necessarily represent the extremeness of the Muslim world--any more than the Occupy movement represented the extremeness of most Americans.

    That having been said, Muslims world wide do seem to share certain opinions regarding the U.S.'s behavior towards Muslims over the past 20 years or more. And if their governments had treated us the same way our government has treated them over the past 20 year or more? I suspect I'd feel the same way about their governments that they feel about ours right now.

    When the Muslim street gets mad, the radicals go over the edge like they did in Benghazi. The last thing Obama wants right now is the Muslim street to get mad, and I wouldn't put it past the Obama Administration to try to assuage the Muslim street by putting this guy in jail for unrelated charges.

    ...at least until November.

    Hope that clarifies what I was saying.

  • ||

    You are correct, I was generalizing incorrectly, but I was repeating 'muslim street' from this Ken Shultz dude's comment above.

    I assumed Ken Shultz meant specifically the riotous hordes that are actively engaged in orgies of fire all over the world. Those were the specific individuals I was referring to. The very ones that, by jailing the film maker, Ken Shultz correctly said president downgrade wishes to assuage in order to get re-elected.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Right on.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's more the Arab street that are savages.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm sure the Arab libertarians who frequent this board really appreciate that.

  • juris imprudent||

    Arab libertarians aren't on the street, they walk carefully over the prone bodies of starving children so as not to dislodge their monocles as they mount their gas-guzzling vehicles.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm sure the Arab libertarian has better things to worry about. Like 'GTFO' of here.

  • Ken Shultz||

    At least one I know of has been a regular here since...2003, 2004, or so?

    Why should he GTFO of here?

    And why would anybody want them to? I hope the whole Muslim world become libertarian.

    Alienating Muslims from libertarianism is stupid if you're a libertarian.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Dude. Ken. You need to learn to read.

  • ||

    It is at this point that I would like to point out that it was federal authorities that first publicized who 'Sam Bacile' actually is.

    Not the AP, apparently. Though they went ahead and ran with the story.

    So basically it was the federal government that for some reason felt compelled to tell the world what the real name of the filmmaker was, and apparently, that he lived in the Los Angelas area.

    Which isn't too far from writing down his name and address and handing it to Islamic terrorists and saying "hey, I'm just telling you where to find him, what you do with this information is your business. Now, I want to be very, very clear that murder is wrong. Wrong, I say. that is all. "

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    So. Nobody is interested in GMO labeling law?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Producers differentiating their products themselves for their benefits seems more than sufficient for me. If theu were worried about ignorant consumers not realizing they were eating GMO, this doesn't seem like the way to go about fixing that.

    People may pay extra for "fat free", for instance, but, otherwise, I don't think they consciously avoid foods with fat on the label. Likewise, becasue organic foods already command a premium in the marketplace, looks like they're already differentiating themselves just fine. Normalize the "GMO" label, and they're just as likely to stop caring about GMO labels as they are about fat on the label.

    GMO labels just looks like rent seeking to me. That's why they introduced in Europe, as I recall, as well--it was just an attempt to keep American products out of their market, and add a further level of protection to their domestic farmers who weren't using GMO seed at the time.

    The California organic growers behind this apparently don't want to compete with produce from Chile and elsewhere, and they want the government to label it with something derogatory in the hope that it'll make it harder for their competitors. That's pathetic rent seeking.

    I think it's unlikely that anyone who comes to this thread will think otherwise.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, if California mandated that Hit Run fix their preview button?

    I might break ranks and support it.

    Seriously, Hit Run. There's a small donation in it for you when you get around to fixing the preview button.

  • juris imprudent||

    There is a preview button?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Actually I was commenting on the fact that after more than a screen's worth of comments, nobody had actually addressed the subject of the post.

  • SIV||

    Go over to reason on facebook. There are a bunch of retards saying libertarians should support government forcing manufacturers to label their products for GMO content or they are nothing but "anti-choice" corporate whores, or something.

  • RBS||

    Hahahaha, the comments toreason posts on facebook are always good for some entertainment.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    the comments toreason posts on facebook are always good for some entertainment.

    There is no fucking way I'd ever read facebook comments on reason posts. No. Fucking. Way.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They must be idiots if they think consumers don't have choices now.

    Hell, the organic industry in California didn't spring into existence becasue of government regulation.

    It sprang into existence because consumers demanded organic produce--becasue of consumer choice.

    If consumer choice hasn't been driving this boat, then WFM must have performed horrendously over the past 20 years...

    http://tinyurl.com/9ohnv7a

  • Stormy Dragon||

    would create a government-mandated scarlet letter.

    This could only be the case if the customers don't actually want to buy GMO and are only do so because the producers are successfully deceiving them about the nature of what is being sold to them. I could get defending this law if you though no one actually cared and thus it was wasting effort providing useless information. But you seem to be arguing that in fact consumers do care and this law is a bad idea because it makes it harder for producers to defraud their customers.

    I view Prop 37 as needless meddling in consumer choice

    How exactly does providing the consumer more information meddle in consumer choice? Again, by your own admission this is something that consumers, rightly or wrongly, care about when making their purchasing decisions.

  • Sevo||

    Stormy Dragon| 9.15.12 @ 11:21AM |#
    ..."How exactly does providing the consumer more information meddle in consumer choice?"

    You;re right. I demand to know if people wearing red clothes packed my food! Consumer choice!

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Again, I'm not saying the law is a good idea. But if, to use your example, we did start labelling all our food if people wearing red clothes packed it, it would be bizarre to me to say that hurts consumer choice.

  • Sevo||

    Stormy Dragon| 9.15.12 @ 12:08PM |#
    "Again, I'm not saying the law is a good idea. But if, to use your example, we did start labelling all our food if people wearing red clothes packed it, it would be bizarre to me to say that hurts consumer choice."

    So long as it costs me nothing to support their religious beliefs.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    That is to say, the correct argument would be something long the lines of "to the extent that there is a consumer desire for GMO related information, that is already provided via voluntary compliance mechanisms", not by resorting to Orwellian manipulations of the language.

  • KPres||

    I like the separation of church and state argument.

  • juris imprudent||

    I believe the labeling isn't just that it is a GMO but that eco-freak pseudo-science says GMOs have health risks.

  • ||

    Considering that whether a product is produced using GMOs or not has no effect on the quality of the product, yes, it is useless information.

  • Mo||

    Rather than forcing GMO companies to label, I would prefer allowing non-GMO foods to advertise that. I'm not a fan of forced speech.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because nothing is stopping food companies that don't use GMOs from stickering their food packages with "NO GMO!" if they so wish. If they want there to be marked differentiation between products in their market space, they should have to pay for it. Make it happen!

    But they don't want to make it happen. They want to use the authority of government to force their competitors to pay for their marketplace preferences.

  • Art in CAs Central Valley||

    I'm in full agreement with this response. Knowing what I'm eating is much different than some big brother telling me not to eat it.

  • ||

    Is there any evidence whatsoever that GMOs are harmful in any way?

    I am endlessly amazed at ignorant superstitious people who are fearful of any change, advance, or improvement. Despite being practiced over 60 years, the fluoridation of water is still touted as dangerous by some. In all that time even the most pessimistic studies read " suggests that fluoridation may be linked to.." and other overly vague language.

    Maybe if those people were reacquainted with the legions of vermin, pests, parasites, poisons, deadly microbes, viruses, plagues, predators and famine that we have spent thousands of years overcoming they might STFU. But probably not.

  • sciencenerd||

    Exactly. Ignorance breeds fear. These people seem to think that Roundup Ready corn is full of Roundup. They're too ignorant to know that it has an enzyme that breaks down Roundup and falls apart in heat and acid, so never will be a problem for humans to ingest. The biggest irony is that GMOs REDUCE pesticide use. It's the pesticides most people are upset and paranoid about.

  • Cytotoxic||

    TO answer your question: no.

  • Mitch52||

    Flouride does nothing that I know of to prevent any of the horrors you described.

  • sciencenerd||

    To me, the biggest issue is that they want the GMO foods labeled with incorrect information. Although many people suspect that GMO foods are dangerous, the few "scientific" articles out there proporting harm have been trashed by peer reviewers because they are garbage. It's my understanding that codes on food already contain this information. If the number starts with 8, it contains GMO products.

  • Sevo||

    Related:
    The trogs of SF city government wrote a law requiring labels on cell phones/signs in cell phone stores claiming the phones "may" expose users to harmful radiation. Of course, it was pitched under the umbrella of 'consumer choice'.
    The courts just threw it out:
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/.....854826.php
    Maybe the GMO labeling can follow.

  • Suellington||

    One small piece of good news among the dregs of shite that our fair city seems to produce in spades.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I'd like to know, first of all, what the people demanding the labels mean by GMO. Are they carefully limiting it to materials created by gene splicing? Or is the definition broader, in which case it probably applies to anything ever created by selective breeding. Does the label GMO actually MEAN anything?

  • Sevo||

    "Does the label GMO actually MEAN anything?"

    I'm going out on a limb and state it means exactly as much as:
    1) "green"
    2) "sustainable"
    3) "organic"

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Organic" has come to mean, simply, that more than 88% (AIR) of the stuff in it isn't genetically modified.

    You can go back and forth about the difference between stuff that's genetically modified and stuff that uses a lot of pesticide, but using genetically modified seed generally implies (accurately) that there's a lot more in the way of pesticide and herbicide involved.

    So, long story short? If "GMO" doesn't really mean anything, then "organic" doesn't really mean anything either--since not being GMO is basically the definition of organic.

    You can safely assume that everything in your typical grocery store that isn't organic is GMO.

    And, from this libertarian's viewpoint, since knowledgeable consumers willingly (and enthusiastically) pay a premium for organic produce, then there must be a meaningful distinction for them.

    And isn't that what matters?

    In fact, if knowledgeable consumers forgo organic becasue of the price point, then there's a meaningful distinction between GMO and organic made by consumers who choose GMO, too.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz| 9.15.12 @ 12:19PM |#
    ..."And, from this libertarian's viewpoint, since knowledgeable consumers willingly (and enthusiastically) pay a premium for organic produce, then there must be a meaningful distinction for them.
    And isn't that what matters?"

    Yes, so long as I'm not paying for a religious distinction.
    Those who prefer kosher seem to be able to get it absent any mandates. If they would prefer foods claimed as 'non-gmo', have at it; the suppliers can chose to label as they please.

  • ||

    fwiw, the kosher process is done FOR religious purposes. however, the process has benefits that are independent of one's religious beliefs.

    personally, i buy beef by the quarter or half and i know the farmer, and butcher. the cow is treated humanely, eats grass, roams around, etc.etc.

    but IF i didn't get my beef that way, kosher would be a good option

    i think there is some decent evidence that the kosher slaughtering process, in addition to being more humane than the average slaughterhouse, has positive effects on meat quality.

    if the animal is killed quickly and isn't fearful (like those who see others being killed before them and release stress hormones out of fear, and then aren't killed quickly and release even more stress hormones), you don't have a bunch of stress hormones released into the bloodstream and have it affect the meat

    then, there is the bleeding out and salting process.

    the koshering method, like a lot of ancient religious practices ((and unlike many)) may be one of those methods where a health practice is given a religious justification so people will follow it.

  • sciencenerd||

    "You can go back and forth about the difference between stuff that's genetically modified and stuff that uses a lot of pesticide, but using genetically modified seed generally implies (accurately) that there's a lot more in the way of pesticide and herbicide involved." This is simply untrue, Ken. GMO crops use LESS pesticide. If there wasn't an economic advantage, the farmers wouldn't plant it. The economic advantage is that they have to buy and use LESS pesticide.

  • sciencenerd||

    I believe they have defined GMO as any product that is a result of molecular genetic techniques like recimbinant DNA techniques.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Then my second question is; have they worded the law they want narrowly enough that no shyster can come after and say that it means or should be interpreted to mean anything that didn't evolve without man's intervention?

    I'm only asking because of the wide preponderance of sloppy law.

  • juris imprudent||

    Carefully worded law in a California ballot proposition?

    Yes, of course it is, and I've got a bridge you should really consider buying.

  • sciencenerd||

    Good question. I'll bet not.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    So goddamn ridiculous. More people have been made seriously ill in any given one of the numerous e.Coli outbreaks in organic crops in Europe of the US than has EVER been adversely affected by any ailment these science-hatng scaremongers throw at GMOs.

  • KPres||

    Luddites gonna ludd.

  • ||

    What happens if you cross a GMO corn species with a non-GMO hybrid?
    Is the resulting corn GMO, or not? Does it have to be labeled?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Most GMO crops are sterile, so that the farmers have to buy new seed from the manufacturer every year instead of reusing seed from the previous year's crop. So it's a moot point.

  • sciencenerd||

    Actually, corn crops have been sterile (hybrid) for years, far before GMOs. Farmers have had to buy the seed for years, since the early 1900s. The hybrid corn is much better.

  • JL||

    Neither hybrid nor GMO corn is sterile. But, they are less productive so farmers don't normally save seeds to replant (and it is illegal to replant some GMOs based on the agreements farmers sign with seed sellers). Farmers have used hybrids for over 60 years. The lack of ability to replant seed is by no means a new issue or one that has anything to do with GMOs.

  • JL||

    By less productive, I mean the replanted seeds are less productive - not the original hybrid or GMO which is obviously more productive

  • ||

    "By respecting the rights of those with whom they disagree, both opponents and supporters of GMOs can find common ground and protect their own rights to eat what and how they please."

    and let's remember, that IS happening is that the proposed labeling isn't limiting any consumer choice (unlike a lot of other craptastic laws in re raw milk, bla bla bla).

    i realize many here are against any govt. mandated labeling. fair enough. i am agnostic on some, against some, and for some, but none of it is a big issue, since it just adds information. it doesn't limit anybody, neither consumer OR producers' marketplace choices.

    i think the people producing GMO and those who believe in GMO really do need to do a better job at edumacating the public. the food luddites are all you hear from on this issue. i realize it sucks to have to respond to largely antiscientific nonfactual fantasyland hrubbish (man, do I EVER), but once in a while i guess you gotta defend against even the colossally stupid.

    hey, as a plus, for those of us that are seeking out GMO to choose to purchase them over NON GMO's, it arms us with information. I'll leave it to NBN to arm me with harmony, otoh

  • Sevo||

    Dunphy (the real one)| 9.15.12 @ 9:13PM |#
    "By respecting the rights of those with whom they disagree, both opponents and supporters of GMOs can find common ground and protect their own rights to eat what and how they please."

    By some strange method, those who prefer Kosher foods have found a way to get them without a government mandate requiring all other foods be labeled as 'non-Kosher'.
    Somehow, their "rights" have been 'protected' minus any cost to those who do not share their superstition.
    So, Dunphy, why should those of us don't share that superstition pay one cent to support the anti-GMO religion?

  • ||

    i neither support nor oppose mandatory GMO labeling. i have not made my mind up yet. nowhere in my post did i say i supported it.

    i readily admit i am not edumacated enough about GMO's . much like global warming. these are two subjects i can state SOME opinions on some stuff in that field, but in general, i am not coming to conclusions overall yet.

    however, i readily admit, and i have done so before, and i am making it crystal clear, that i DO support mandatory govt. labeling for nutrittion and ingredients to some extent on food products. and i also think govt. needs to bear the cost of same if/where they require it.

    and i concede it is far from a purist libertarian viewpoint. i will explain my reasoning, and i readily expect many people will disagree with me, and i also respect that.

    i personally think that it's "ok" for govt. to require a certain bare minimum of labeling (the most obvious being ingredients) on food products.

    i readily admit this is not "pure" libertarian. the pure position would be that since people are free not to buy those products taht are not labeled adequately (by whatever metric they think is adequate), that the market will work itself out and that is the proper solution
    (continued)

  • ||

    i'm a pragmatist on this issue. i think that arming consumers with information, by REQUIRING same, when it comes to food, should be within govt.'s authoritah.

    when it comes to BANS (transfat, big mac, whatever) i'm pure. as much as i loathe cigarette smoke, i'm also against bans in bars, etc. even though said bans benefit me.

    but when it comes to FOOD, i think that there are compelling enough reasons, and it's a minor enough requirement AND it does not limit choice in any way shape or form, that govt. should have that authoritah

    note i am speaking about ingredients here. i am not talking about GMO's, which i am not decided on one way or the other yet.

    so, again, i am NOT saying i support mandatory GMO labeling, and note i do not state that i do support it anywhere in my post. i merely pointed out some advantages of same. those are not the same thing. i can point out +'s of all kind of things i overall disagree with. iow, just because i disagree with X, does not mean i cannot find items of X that have merit

    but in the interest of full disclosure, and i have made same before, i most definitely do support SOME mandatory labeling of nutrition and ingredients on food products.

    and i READILY accept that this is not a pure libertarian position, and that it imposes a cost on business. i would ALSO support some sort of govt. tax break, etc. that would COVER the cost of mandatory labeling, since i think if govt. is going to require it, they need to cover the costs.

  • Sevo||

    OK, but none of that responds to:
    "why should those of us don't share that superstition pay one cent to support the anti-GMO religion?"
    Wanna try again, with something other than 'well I sorta like the idea' and 'I'm not a purist, so why not?'
    IOWs, would you please address the comment?

  • ||

    i'm not sure i am grokking you.

    i said i don't have an opinion in regards to whether govt.should have the authoritah to require GM products to be labeled as such.

    so, i 'm not saying we (since i also don't share the anti-gmo nonsense) SHOULD pay one cent.

    or even a halfpence.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's about the bill.

    With this law, anti-GMO folk are attempting to force food companies that sell GMO food to pay for the marketplace preferences of anti-GMO folk.

    If anti-GMO folk want differentiation in the market space, they can pay for the differentiation themselves by labeling their own food products. If they don't want to pay for it, they don't really see a legitimate market need for such differentiation.

    It's all about forcing those they don't like to pay for their preferences. Just like the rest of leftism.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Why do we need this law? Those who do NOT use GMOs in their food products can put that on the label themselves. If that is a good selling point, others will want to say the same thing on their labels. If someone falsely puts the claim on their labels, then they can be sued for fraud. In the meantime, people can just assume that anything that is not labeled as GMO-free actually includes GMO ingredients.

    To answer my own question, "we" don't need this law. But the ruling class wants to expand their sphere of authority, so "they" need this law.

  • cheap electronic cigarettes||

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  • sciencenerd||

    Furthermore, they want labels to say GMO food is dangerous, and this has not been proven. This is my biggest issue. They want a FALSE label on the food.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I just want to point out that the FDA got its start as a friendly, "common-sense" labeling law. Just as California has its own OSHA, will it now have its own FDA (assuming that the proposition passes in November)?

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  • AAnderson||

    I'd like the food I eat to be labeled GMO or non-GMO. To link up with your argument on cancerous products found in NATURAL foods not needing to be labeled, I agree. However GMO products are unnatural, therefore as a consumer I feel that I have the right to know. Agriculture is one of the most despotically centralized institutions in America. It needs to be back in the hands of the people of this country, and that comes about only through an intense information campaign rather than the disinformation we are fed daily.

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    More characteristics, novel style,varieties,and good quality low price

    http://l2y.eu/dddqh

    http://l2y.eu/dddqh

  • Francisco||

    The US was always at war with the Haqqani network.

  • Mitch52||

    Your link between Prop 65 and Prop 37 is bogus. I could ask you why you are not bit**ing about all the other food labeling that is required, but as a libertarian gone off the rails you probably would argue that food should come in a bag with nothing on it and it would be our personal responsibility to decide whether to eat it or not.

  • Art in CAs Central Valley||

    Your agency, KFL, is new to me and I'm glad I came across your analysis of CA's Prop 37. I am still not clear how you argue that it is unconstitutional to demand transparency from edible products? It is my understanding that this is to demand disclosure. For example, if I'm a diabetic shouldn't I have the right to know what foods have products high in glycemic index? This is much different than legislating that foods with high GIs shouldn't be sold to the insulin resistant.

    I myself do not support legislating what people should eat or not eat; however, I find this a different function from telling people what causes cancer or not to drink soda pop.

    I'm open to reading more materials on how you see the unconstitutionality of Prop 37.

  • Nazzy||

    Consumers should be allowed to make a free and informed choice about what they're buying. Consumer freedom is a concept I think most libertarians would appreciate. The whole Proposition for labelling cancerous products is different than Prop 37, GMO is not a NATURAL food, it is biologically engineered to adhere to specific qualities of selected bacteria.
    Government is not overstepping their authority by putting up stop signs, street lights, and "Warning Cliff Ahead" signs.... Why is this considered so horrible?

  • cmunky||

    It's just an ingredient label like for sodium and fat. It doesn't add to the cost of the product or require inspection.
    This bill in no way empowers the government, it empowers us! The citizens, the consumers.
    Even before genetic modification of cultivated food, breeding has produced strains of crops that large groups of people are allergic to. This is one of the reasons detailed ingredient labels are important.

  • ||

    I believe that most of you are overlooking the most fundamental issue, that we own our bodies and therefore have a right to know what is going into them.

    Whether GMOs are safe or not is another issue. But it is beyond question that we have the right to choose for ourselves whether we want to put them into our bodies or not. Right now the big biotech and agribusiness firms are trying to keep that information from us and I do not believe that they should have that right.

    I hope that Propostion 37 passes because I personally want to know what I am eating.

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