Proposition 37 is bad law

By From page A6 | November 02, 2012

GMO foods are not developed in a laboratory with mad scientists, crazy farmers or vicious chemists from demonized companies hunkered over a vat of noxious potion with intent to change the DNA of food products, making evil products to sell to the unsuspecting consumers.

Before the techniques of DNA identification in agriculture, selecting the desirable characteristics for the development of new types of food products, from plants to animals, was done by physical selection and cross pollinating, grafting or cross-breeding.

With DNA, we have a more precise scientific system, able to be more selective for characteristics, such as drought tolerance; greater yield; needing less fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides; seedless; fewer allergy components; longer “shelf life”; more actual meat and less fat; higher vitamin content and the benefits go on and on — all helpful to the food needs of people throughout the world and less impact on the environment.

California farmers feed the world, and to demonize GMOs is to make an absolutely unreasonable significant impact on California, putting California agriculture at a competitive disadvantage.

Proposition 37 applies only to California and bans foods that contain any GMO product unless they are labeled with a California-specific label. The list requiring the label includes processed food products that also contain organic foods. It will prohibit labeling processed foods as “natural” — i.e., dried raisins. It will increase the burden for those with limited incomes. It is tantamount to a warning that foods containing GMOs are bad. Food products made or grown in other states and shipped to California will be required to be labeled.

An egregious part of Prop. 37 is the provision for enforcement by private lawyers suing alleged violators — a case of guilty until proven innocent, a financial windfall for lawyers. Farmers who do not grow GMO products will have to keep exact records to prove innocence in a “sweeping” lawsuit.

Many years of study have proved GMO products are safe. Proposition 37 is a bad proposition. It serves no purpose, other than as a detriment to California agriculture and the consumer.

Vernette Marsh

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