Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Organisms?

I wrote a blog post a few days ago about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and lamented at the lack of labeling requirements for them.  Well, it turns out that voters in California will get the opportunity to vote on mandatory labeling requirements for Genetically Modified Organisms during the election in November.  The California Secretary of State Certified a ballot measure for voters to decide if manufacturers or producers should be required to indicate if their product contains GMOs.  There are currently no requirements for this on the federal or state level.

The California Secretary of State stated the following about the ballot initiative, "Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling.":
"Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.” Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential increase in state administrative costs of up to one million dollars annually to monitor compliance with the disclosure requirements specified in the measure. Unknown, but potentially significant, costs for the courts, the Attorney General, and district attorneys due to litigation resulting from possible violations to the provisions of this measure."

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