Prop 37 Video: Where Do You Stand on The GMO Debate?
We've spoken a lot about GMOs here at LAist, and the time is nearing where Californians will decide wether they want to pass prop 37, an initiative to label foods that have been produce using genetically modified organisms.
Today, the California Right to Know Campaign released a satirical a video starring Bill Maher, Dave Matthews, Jillian Michaels, and Danny Devito, asking questions like, "Why would you want to know what's in your food?", saying folks who care should move to China or India if you want to know what's in their food.
But the LA Times editorial board asserted that citizens should vote "no" on 37 for a variety of reasons.
Unfortunately, the initiative to require labeling of those ingredients is sloppily written. It contains language that, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, could be construed by the courts to imply that processed foods could not be labeled as "natural" even if they weren't genetically engineered. Most of the burden for ensuring that foods are properly labeled would fall not on producers but on retailers, which would have to get written statements from their suppliers verifying that there were no bioengineered ingredients — a paperwork mandate that could make it hard for mom-and-pop groceries to stay in business. Enforcement would largely occur through lawsuits brought by members of the public who suspect grocers of selling unlabeled food, a messy and potentially expensive way to bring about compliance ... These are all valid arguments for rejecting Proposition 37, but a more important reason is that there is no rationale for singling out genetic engineering, of all the agricultural practices listed above, as the only one for which labeling should be required.
The endorsement continues: "What's needed is a consistent, rational food policy, not a piecemeal approach based on individual groups' pet concerns."
So what are your thoughts on the matter? Will you side with the LA Times or Bill Maher?