There’s a not-too-quiet battle being waged in California over our right to know what’s in the food we buy. The fight is a classic David v. Goliath tilt, which may ultimately impact food labeling for the entire nation.
California’s Prop 37, the Right to Know GMO Labeling proposition, requires food manufacturers to label products that include genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). The ballot initiative doesn’t seek regulations or limits in any way. It just mandates that GMO food be labeled — the way it is in at least 50 countries worldwide, including all of the European Union, China, Japan and Russia.
As a country, we tend to not think much about our food…until it’s too late. We clamor for more information about calories, sugar or trans fat only after obesity, diabetes and heart disease have become national epidemics. Likewise, our concern about genetic engineering comes when GMOs are already ubiquitous in industrial agriculture, especially corn, soy, and sugar beets. By some estimates, over 80 percent of all processed foods contain GMOs.
It’s this ubiquity that has spawned “absence of negative” credentials, where consumers avoid GMOs by purchasing products with seals of approval from USDA Organic or the Non-GMO Project (both of which certify all Country Choice Organic products as GMO free). But given that 90 percent of American consumers want to know if products contain GMOs, do we have it backwards? Shouldn’t we be labeling foods that have been altered or messed with, those that contain pesticides, trans fats, GMOs, etc.? We think so. Good, real food should be expected, not the exception.
That’s why Country Choice Organic is proud to support California’s Prop 37. Knowledge is the key to creating a healthier nation. When people know what they are eating, they can make better decisions. We all deserve to know what’s in our food. It’s only right!