Thoughts on Prop 37

by Andie Mitchell on November 1, 2012

There’s an interesting debate swirling around the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative in California. If approved, the initiative will “require labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if the food is made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.” It will also prohibit the labeling of such food as “natural.” Some think that mandatory labeling will increase food prices and is unnecessary while other consumers declare the right to know exactly what’s in their food.

The most compelling arguments against the initiative are redundancy and cost. Consumers wishing to avoid genetically engineered food can avoid them by buying food that is certified as organic and labeled as such. Critics of the initiative feel redundant labeling isn’t worth the cost to consumers. A UC Davis study revealed that if Prop 37 passes it will cost farmers and food processors over $1 billion dollars.

Supporters of the initiative believe that consumers should be given as much information as possible when making decisions that could impact their health. Prop 37 isn’t trying to stop the production of genetically engineered food, it’s simply seeking to make sure information is available to consumers who want it. They also counter the cost argument by citing that food companies regularly re-print labels so it won’t affect food prices in the long term.

I don’t live in California, but if I did I would vote in favor of Prop 37. I prefer food that isn’t genetically modified and feel strongly that I have the right to know what I’m putting into my body. I don’t have a problem with other people opting to buy and consume whatever food they choose, but it seems unfair not to give shoppers as much information as possible. And while I am sympathetic to the increased cost, I think greater information for consumers to make healthier choices for themselves is worth a small increase in food prices.

What do you think about this issue? Would you vote yes or no on Prop 37?

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin Oveis Brant November 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I live in California and I am absolutely voting yes on Prop 37. I also believe we have a right to know what’s in our food (or how it’s produced). Knowledge is power and I hope this helps the movement toward healthier (and more affordable) food options in stores. My guess is that less people will buy genetically modified foods once they realize they actually are (via the labels). We’ll see!

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama November 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

If I lived in CA I would vote yes for sure. I hope it passes and more states follow suit.

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Mia November 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I live in Canada,so don’t get a vote, but I recently heard that many of the genetically modified foods are being sprayed with tons of pesticides- more so than “regularly” grown food. Also many of the large chemical companies own the farms that are growing genetically modified food. It doesn’t seem quite right…At least if it’s labelled you can make an informed choice.

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Amber November 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

If I lived in CA I would vote yes. I don’t think consumers should be forced to buy organic to purchase produce. They should have a rut to know what is organic, GMO, or traditionally farmed.

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Lindsay November 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Bill Maher had a really fantastic guest on his show last week who covered this subject and – although I didn’t need any convincing – gave compelling reasons to vote yes on Prop 37. It makes sense as a consumer to move in the direction of awareness.

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Jen November 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I grew up in California (still vote there, from overseas), in the middle of all the agribusiness. I’ve also worked several seasons on small organic family-run farms around the country, and have volunteered on farms overseas… I voted YES. Labeling food is simply part of the cost of business – it’s not that hard. Knowledge is Power.

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Michelle in N. Cal November 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I am in CA and voted yes on Prop 37 (mail in ballot). I think the more a consumer knows = the more educated our choices are.

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Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner November 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I would vote yes for sure. People should absolutely know as much as possible about the food they are buying.

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deb November 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I would absolutely vote yes. We need to know what is in our food and where it comes from. I don’t want my food from a lab! And if this does pass, I think more states will get in line to pass their own Prop 37. I know VT definitely will.

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Theresa November 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Another Canadian who can’t vote, but I do think its a much bigger issue than this prop. BIG FOOD are big bullies and they will find a work around very quickly. In my very limited knowledge I think prop 37 doesn’t go deep enough. It’s lipstick on the pig.

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Karen November 2, 2012 at 4:02 am

I don’t live in CA, but would vote YES on prop 37 if I did. We have a right to know what is in our food, and we have a responsibility to insist that Monsanto, Dow and other GMO giants not deny us that information.

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Rebecca November 2, 2012 at 4:38 am

I am not a CA resident so no vote for me, although I support the idea. I am a science teacher and am currently enrolled in a graduate couse – Food safety and genetically modified foods. This has been a topic for discussion and while I feel like the consumer has a right to know, there are much bigger issues to consider. As a global population we cannot expect to continue with our lifestyles and be able to meet the nutritional needs of the growing population. As it is now millions are hungry daily. GMO’s offer the best hope of meeting these needs for many.

Additionally, GMO’s are currently used to produce safe, cheap, and reliable insulin for diabetic patients. Without the genetically modified bacteria to produce human insulin we would still be using pigs and cadavers.

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Heidi November 3, 2012 at 9:21 am

Prop 37 is not limiting GMOs in any way, it just wants a label update. I support the science to help heal and feed the world, I just need to know what is in my food since I have food allergies. If they put protein cells from egg yolks in other foods I need to know because I am allergic.

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Kelley November 16, 2012 at 8:08 am

We waste 40% of our food in the US and 2 billion people on this planet already live on less than $2 a day. Wasting less is the single most significant way we can increase the world’s food supply. It is agribusiness propaganda that propagates the myth that genetically modified crops will feed the world. GMOs increase monoculture growth which in turn (obviously) has an immense negative impact on biodiversity. While heirloom varieties of tomato and corn are experiencing a resurgence, just imagine the variety of crops that once existed. Please consider the droughts this year that left most of the (GM) Midwest corn crop useless – I hardly call that a food miracle that’s going to help feed the world.
Furthermore, Monsanto’s Roundup and most commonly consumed genetically modified corn have just been implicated in causing cancer, liver failure and kidney failure in the FIRST lifetime study (as opposed to the usual 90 day), which was recently conducted in France. http://rt.com/news/monsanto-rats-tumor-france-531/

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Shaen November 2, 2012 at 5:28 am

I too do not live in CA but wish I could vote on this … I’d vote YES. In the end, the customer is buying a product and has the right to know exactly what they are buying. Whether or not you believe that GMOs are good or bad, it’s your choice to make. This labeling is law in other parts of the world and it is sad that in the US we have to fight so hard against agribusiness to have access to the same information that is mandatory in other countries.

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MAJL November 2, 2012 at 6:09 am

I agree and support Lindsay’s comments about what Bill Maher said. While I am Canadian and shouldn’t voice my opinion about policies in the US, I would vote for prop 37 if it were an option here. That being said, I am proud to say that some of our cities here in Canada are banning the growth of GMO crops, hoping to make it province wide in British Columbia. My province and city does have the reputation of being left wing. I am sharing the article in case you want to approach your city council about this: http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/05/23/richmond-passes-ban-on-genetically-engineered-crops/.

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Megan November 2, 2012 at 6:31 am

Well, I guess I’ll be the first “NO” on Prop 37. While I am not against the idea of informing consumers…heck, I love it. But, I do not feel the weight of “informing consumers” weighs completely on the company. We Americans have the right to buy or not buy, and I think we are all smart enough to know that anything processed is NOT as good as fresh produce, fresh meat, fresh dairy…anything processed will lose it’s nutritional value, and I don’t think a Mandate will change our eating habits as a culture…eating healthy is a CHOICE we make, labels or not…

Now, of course, I love having info available, but if a product DOESN’T have it, I have the freedom to NOT buy it if I am concerned about it’s production. No one is “forced” to buy organic…you make that choice on your own. The big food companies are not making Americans unhealthy and obese…lack of exercise and gluttony do that.

So, IMO I think it’s an unnecessary proposal…we have more than enough labels as it is…if you don’t find what you want on one product, check another…no one forces us to eat or buy anything we aren’t comfortable with. It’s our own responsibility to think “what’s better? The fresh peaches, or the peaches in a can???”

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Liz November 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I agree with your sentiments about the freedom we have in choosing what we buy. I just think that is a little separate from this issue. Buying a fresh peach vs. canned peaches is different from buying a peach that has been genetically altered. Someone may think canned, organic peaches better to buy than fresh, altered ones.

If this information can change someone’s habits, I think the burden should be on the producers, who have the information, to put it out there.

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Jewel Wescott November 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Megan, GMO is not just in processed food.

Fresh Corn is highly modified, Soy found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, etc, Sugar: genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009, Papayas: GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii since 1999, Canola, Cotton, Dairy: as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows in America are pumped with growth hormones, in fact Monasnto’s rBGH has been banned in 27 countries. Zucchini and yellow squash. These are just some on the ‘Fresh’ foods that contain GMO so just buying fresh foods is not good enough… if they are so proud of their product– They have a copyright on it — they should want to label it so everyone knows who’s product it is…

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Jewel November 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I missed quite a few: Apples, Coffee, Grapefruit, Oats, Onions, Strawberries, Sugar Cane… The average American today eat about 193 pounds of genetically modified foods over 12 months and according to the Environmental Working Group that is an underestimate. 95% of sugar beets, 93% of soybeans, & 88% of corn grown in the US is genetically modified.
http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2012/10/americans-eat-their-weight-in-genetically-engineered-food/

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Elizabeth November 2, 2012 at 6:44 am

I live in Los Angeles and I’m voting for it!! We need to know what we put in our bodies and the bodies of our children. The fear mongering of higher prices does not bother me at all. I prefer knowing rather than someone making decisions for me.

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Amberlyn November 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

Just to clear some things up because it doesn’t seem that people understand the differences between organic, GMO, and processed. (I did a research project on this in grad school last year.)

Genetically Modified food: the seeds for these plants have been genetically modified in some way. Most of the time, they are modified to produce more and larger plants that only germinate once. If they produce seeds, they will not grow the following season. What this does is make the farmer a slave to the seed companies. In the old days, you would keep the seeds from your tomatoe and plant them the following year for another crop. Now, after being modified, they don’t produce another crop. So, the farmer must order seeds EVERY YEAR. (Read good business for the seed company!) Also, with the use of genetic modification from big farms, there are less heirloom plants. (Heirloom: Read, mother-nature modified over the years for insect resistance and taste. Buy these if you can for the TASTE! They are AMAZING!) The economic implications are HUGE – and not in favor of the farmer.
Effects on health from genetically modified foods has yet to be determined (but generally speaking deviating from mother nature is never good).

Organic food: food that is raised without the use of pesticides. If the food is animal in nature, it only means that the feed it was given was raised without pesticides and was not given hormones. (This does not mean that the cow was fed grass, as mother nature suggested – it may still have been fed corn and is therefor, lower in Omega 3′s.) Generally, organic foods are healthier than foods that used cancer causing pesticides and hormones but animals fed their natural diet that also happened to be organic is the healthiest option.

Processed food has been cooked, preserved or taken apart, has some sort of shelf life, and normally comes in a crinkly bag or box. As far as your health is concerned: it is pure evil.

Take home message: Processed food and genetically modified food are not the same. The produce you purchase from the supermarket or even the farmers market can be BOTH organic AND genetically modified.

My opinion: For the best health outcomes; err on the side of caution – stay away from processed foods, try to eat non-GMO food that have been raised organically as mother nature intended whenever possible. And yes, there needs to be a label.

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Sam November 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

Two points that should be clarified here:

1. Organic foods are/can be raised with pesticides. The pesticides must come from an organic source, not synthetic. This does not mean they are less toxic than their synthetic counterparts. To ensure that your food is not sprayed, talk to your local farmers about their practices. This is the only way to guarantee pesticide-free food.

2. And no, food that is organic cannot also be genetically modified. The organic certification does not allow GMOs.

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Nancy November 2, 2012 at 6:47 am

I totally agree. So many children, even babies are being born with odd allergies and skin problems and so many people are gluten intollerant etc……I have to believe it is a direct consequence from this.
VOTE YES!

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Alisha November 2, 2012 at 7:10 am

After watching Food, Inc and being horrified, I would so vote YES for this. I think everywhere should do it, not just in CA.

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Marybeth November 2, 2012 at 7:13 am

I’m with Megan – I’m not in California but I would vote no on Prop 37.

I am all for the consumer’s right to choose and know what is in their food. But I don’t think this is the way to do it.

Many farmers grow both GMO and non-GMO crops. If this proposition passes, farmers who grow GMO and non-GMO corn would need to be able to keep both types of corn completely separate – two sets of equipment for planting, harvesting, and storing. Food processors that use GMO and non-GMO corn would also need completely separate equipment to handle each type of corn (or significant downtime to convert between types of corn in a processing run). The increased cost is not just in reprinting food labels. This would require multi-million dollar equipment purchases for the farmer and the food processor.

These price increases will be passed to you at the grocery store. While some people will choose to, and can afford to, make these more expensive food choices, not everyone has the extra money to spend.

While there is no specific “GMO-free” label, anything with the “Certified Organic” label is GMO-free. There are already some labeling options in place that can help you make what you feel is the best choice for your family.

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Linda Sue November 2, 2012 at 7:39 am

I agree with you – I also don’t live in California.
arguments about vastly more chemicals used in producing GMO crops aren’t correct – one of the major reasons for genetic modification is disease and pest resistance. I avoid GMO as much as is reasonable. Life has risks – we each need to be as vigilant as feasible for our own situation. However, increasing costs of production and distribution of food – well just doesn’t make sense. I find the increasing label requirements a tad ironic – how do we have so much information and concurrently more allergies, obesity, immune deficiency related disabilities? We can get information but using it practically – the American consumer hasn’t shown much evidence of that use. I know – I’m adding fuel to a fire here but honest – eat local products as much as possible -all things in moderation and don’t expect regulations and labels to change life long habits.

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Sandy November 2, 2012 at 7:58 am

I do not normally comment on blog posts or disagree with their opinions. I am a PhD level scientist and I know that GMO crops are the only way to feed the growing population of our planet.

Very few studies in the scientific literature show GMO crops are dangerous. The few studies that do show problems associated with feeding rats GMO products have vast flaws and are generally rejected by the wider scientific community. I truly wish that the media would take the time to properly understand GMO products. Many GMO plants are more drought and disease resistant. Allowing them to better survive times of stress. Some crops are more nutrient rich and yes some contain genetic elements which make them resistant to herbicides. One of the main points of GMO crops is that they help reduce the amount of pesticides used in the environment because the plants are more resistant to their natural pests. GMO crops are truly safe.

I respect the right to choose what you feed yourself and your family. Please take the time to educate yourself, not with opinion pieces but with actual scientific articles.
I in no way want to offend anyone with this comment, I simply want to offer an alternative view from a scientific perspective.

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Carol November 2, 2012 at 9:01 am

I live in California and I am voting NO on this proposition. I grow some of my food. I support local farmers and buy as much locally grown food as possible. I am not opposed to information, and I’m all for making informed buying decisions, also for making healthy choices. There will be unintended consequences if this proposition passes.
Many of the local farmers are ‘small’ farmers. Placing this additional burden of labeling adds to their cost of production, shrinking their profit or passing along the cost to consumers. While I can see by the comments that many people would like to stick it to the large farming operations (conglomerates), those entities would be less affected or impacted by a labeling requirement than the small farmers. It’s true they supply massive quantities of products, but it is also true that they can also purchase even the labels in bulk at reduced pricing, for just one example.
The proponents of this proposition suggest that there would be no cost associated with this proposition. That is fertilizer. Consider the staffing increases to the government agency that would enforce such labeling. Consider the costs of attorney fees passed along to consumers. Consider the ‘cost’ of the small farms that could no longer afford to compete with the conglomerates with ever shrinking profit margins. Consider the impact on the imported produce, and enforcement costs. Food prices have been rising at a rapid rate, for processed foods and unprocessed foods alike, genetically modified or not.
Our produce already is labeled organic or not, and from what country it originates. Most consumers do not even read the labels already in use. Those that do, already have the ability to make informed decisions. Those consumers with special dietary requirements have the extra burden of meeting those needs. While I feel for their plight, that burden does not belong to the majority of consumers, and the cost need not be shared with the majority of consumers.
Genetically modified food has been unfairly demonized. It included crossing strains of corn to get a better tasting variety or larger ears or varied colors. That has been done for centuries and is a naturally occurring process as well. Should farmers have to label each ear of corn from such a process as ‘genetically modified’ causing less informed people to make an uninformed decision NOT to purchase that product?
If it REALLY matters to a tiny fraction of consumers, the information they seek is already available with some research or asking questions. Catering to the lowest common denominator is not what we need, especially in a state verging on bankruptcy. Lawyers and special interest groups nationwide are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this proposition because if it passes in California it will then spread across the nation. If it passes here, remember to pay attention to the consequences here because they will be coming on a much grander scale nationwide.
I’m not opposed to information or making informed decisions. I’m not opposed to using science to increase yields or produce better produce either. I AM opposed to adding an unnecessary labeling burden to farmers while pretending that consumers will use it to make better eating choices.

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Rachel November 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

I am a Californian and I also agree with Carol. I will vote against Prop 37. While I agree with the keeping the public informed, I cannot support the proposition at this time. The agricultural community is struggling as it is, and to add more restrictions would be a disaster. If it passes, fresh fruit and vegetables will most likely be harder to come by and be more expensive for the consumers. I live in the farming community, and I can tell you that this proposition, as it is written now, will have a negative world wide impact.

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Winnie November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

Californian here, I was just about to post what Carol wrote regarding the ads circulating around prop 37. I would love to have more knowledge about the produce I buy, but proponents of prop 37 say it’s at no cost to us. To quote our VP, that’s a bunch of malarkey. I am voting NO on Prop 37.

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Sarah November 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

I’m in California and voting Yes on Prop 37. We should know what we’re getting in our food! Many other countries already do this, and it’s not a significant cost increase.

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Cinnamon Vogue November 2, 2012 at 11:01 am

PLEASE VOTE YES ON 37 – I already voted by Mail. As a business owner I am usually the first to be against too much government regulation, but the fact that they fought hard against it has me convinced me they want to hide it. Since we have labels on it, adding one small line is not going to increase food prices.

They have GMO (Called GME) labeling in Europe and I don’t see any adverse effects. Monsanto is an evil company (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us42DZO0NX0). I remember a few years ago they bankrupted a Canadian farmer who was using his own seeds but the neighbors GMO seeds came into his own farm and grew on his farm. Monsanto said he stole their seeds And any GMO foods should not be named natural. How can be natural? It makes no sense. It’s like those stupid free credit report.com ads. Outright lies! We are the laughing stock of the world.

And just like the Financial Industry meltdown we will find out that the food industry has been lying to us and the regulators didn’t do anything about it. Why is it that the US has one of the highest cancer rates in the world and India has one of the lowest? Could it be GMO’s? Give us choices with labeling. What is funny is that Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield, Hain-Celestial and Trader Joe’s who are among the biggest manufacturers and retailers of organic food in the country, have been AWOL during this epic food fight. I think the main reason is much of the organic food is genetically modified but conveniently fall within the definition of organic.

In the meantime please try to minimize your purchases from these food companies that want to stop 37 like Kashi, Alexia,Goya,Welch’s, Heinz etc. Here is a link to the poster http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/08/prop37/

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Marlene Dotterer November 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

I already mailed in my ballot and I voted for this prop. People simply have a right to know what is in their food. We have the right to know what is in any product that we buy – food is no different.

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Michelle November 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

Genetically modified food is not any less healthy than non genetically modified food. That is a very common misconception today in the consumer world. As a farmer, I think it is very important that our society does not get confused on this issue, because it is one that is very important in my line of work. For example, organic lettuce does not have any more calories, vitamins, minerals, health benefits, etc than that of its regular lettuce sister. Was it grown differently, yes? Does that make it less healthy, no. I urge you to find one bit of research that says otherwise.

I do not live in California, I live in Iowa, and raise genetically modified corn and soybeans. I also raise beef that is fed the genetically modified corn that I mentioned above. If I did live in California, I would be voting no for Prop 37.

I am all for consumer choices, and I think its great when people want to pay a premium for organic food, because isnt that what being an American is all about? Choice! However, I strongly urge you to do your research when it comes to GMO vs Non-GMO food grade products, especially when it comes to “health benefits”. Turn off the news and stop listening to what the media wants you to beleive about this issue, but rather take the time to understand what you are buying as a consumer.

Also please be an informed voter and understand the reprecussions of what voting yes for this prop would do. This would be a huge financial burden to those who feed the world.

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Michelle November 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I also urge you to remember that 2% of the population has to feed the world. Please remember how many starving people are in the world today. If we were to grow everything non genetically modified, there would be a heck of a lot more starving people in this world! What is important to you?

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Cinnamon Vogue November 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Michelle I don’t think the issue is about stopping GMO foods. It’s our right to know so that we can make our own choices. For that we need our label. Can you give 5 reason why we should vote NO on 37? My reason to vote for Yes are
1. We have a right to know. Why have labeling at all in this case?
2. Cancer rates are the highest in the USA and lowest in India. Guess where more GMO foods are used? Sufficient anecdotal evidence for my choices
3. Cost is a few pennies. Europe has GMO labeling and did it lead to a collapse?
4. I object to them calling GMO products natural. Prop 37 will prevent that. It is insidiously misleading. Let’s have truth in labeling.
5. 2% of the population has to feed the world. Prop 37 will make sure rich Californians will not eat GMO foods leaving more GMO food for the rest of the world and the rest of America. I don’t think starving Africans will want to know if the food is GMO. Believe they will eat GMO food if it is cheaper. So will most Americans.

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Christina November 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I live in CA and have already sent in my mail in ballot and I voted for Prop 37. As many have mentioned above, I’m all for people eating what they want, it’s a choice, but I also want to know what I’m eating. We have pretty much eliminated processed foods from our diets and try to eat organic when we can. I think that is it important as a consumer to at least have the information to know what is going in our food.

Imagine the outcry when food had to be labeled with calories and nutrition information. Look at who is against the proposition, large agribusiness. Also, as mentioned in a post above, those agribusinesses are the seed companies that farmers become slaves to. There will be a cost, but isn’t it worth it? In another 20 years if they find there are consequences from genetically modified foods, people will cry out why weren’t we told, same with cigarettes right????

Be a conscientious consumer and the food producers should also be conscientious in their labeling.

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Ashton November 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

If any of you have time- this video is very powerful and analytical in regards to the effects of GM foods and the food industry.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWXrRftyOMY&feature=relmfu
(Robyn O’Brien – Patriotism on a Plate)

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Amanda November 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm

We all have the right to know what’s in our food. If the FDA can insist that ingredients are labeled for consumer safety, then what’s the difference between that and telling people they’re eating genetically modified products. I stopped buying certain veggies from Wal Mart because they were going to start buying exclusively GM veggies and not label them.
There’s also a moral issue here: rather than correct the industrial food model which is harmful to the earth, drives up food prices, cripples farmers, and harms animals, the GM market encourages it and exacerbates the problems surrounding these issues. I’m glad that CA is doing something to make people more aware of what’s growing in their food and going in their mouths.

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com November 3, 2012 at 5:54 am

Great, informative post! I also don’t live in Cali but I have been following this debate closely as I imagine it will be headed to other states and so many of our foods come from California that it is good to be aware!!!

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BJG November 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Here’s what we do not about GMOs. They destroy the individuality and variety of various crops. I don’t want to live in a world where heirloom tomatoes no longer exist or japanese cucumbers.

My guess is that the so called “experts” that have popped up here are paid shills for Dow and Monsanto. You see it in other areas. You put in the prop number and people paid to be anti write their “say.” Let’s not feed the trolls. GMOs were approved by the FDA in 1982. As a whole, we the people have only gotten fatter and sicker. We’re eating wheat that’s 80% GMO, soy that’s 94% GMO, and corn that’s mostly GMOs as well. I’m not sure how anyone with a PhD can say conclusively they are healthy.

We all know who loses if this proposition passes, it’s Dow and Monsanto.

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Liesl Ayers-Southwell November 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm

As a farmer and seller of local grass fed beef in the Seattle area, I agree with you fully!! My parents both live in California, and my father is opposed to the idea. (Simply because he does not want to have to peal another sticker off his apples.) What bothers me so much about that basic idea of simply buying Organic produce if you want to be sure you are not consuming GMO products is….. “Organic” really doesn’t stand up to its name, and that goes for the USDA too! For instance, you can still spray 80 different kinds of pesticides on fruit and vegetable crops and still certify your produce as “Organic.” Also, you can now feed your animals grass for only 60 days and certify your meat products “Grass Fed” by the USDA!! Yes, organic does not currently label products “Organic” if it contains GMO’s, but exceptions have been made consistently in the past, and who’s to say the mighty dollar won’t eventually speak louder than reason! Organic certification is a business (that costs farmers billions of dollars!!) and really doesn’t represent anything but a label people are fooled into trusting. Its outrageous!! Personally, when it comes to products that I am not able to ask a farmer face to face “How did you grow this?” I want to know if Im putting GMO’s in my body!! For that reason, I wish I was a California voter, and do hope it finds its way up here to Washington. The people deserve a food system that is open and honest and clean, and prop 37 is definitely a start to the horrible mess it is currently!

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susan November 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

I live in CA and I am voting YES!

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LEE November 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

There is a lot of good information in this thread. As someone who grew up on a ranch and now works for people in production agriculture, I’d like to point out a few things.
1) GMO food has not been proven to have adverse health affects
2) Knowledge is power, but in addition to that, too much knowledge can cause unnecessary fear
3) For example, a few years ago, the EU banned a shipment of rice into their county because there was a trace amount of GMO on the barge. The company that owned the rice offered to ship it to Africa and donate it to food aid. Greenpeace ordered that the shipment be cancelled because of this trace amount of GMO. How many babies went to bed hungry when they could have had a belly full of warm food?

One of the previous commenters was correct, a very small percentage of the population is willing to feed the world. If the world’s population continues to grow and science is able to deliver advanced nutrients and sometimes life saving vaccines through GMO food, don’t we want to be able to feed more people and do it in a way that they could be healthier just by eating it? For me, it’s a no-brainer. There’s no need to label GMO food if it will only cause drum up more scare tactics.

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BJG November 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I’m amazed at all these so called “farmers” and “ranchers” who have an opinion. OK, here’s mine. I grew up in Decatur, IL outside in a suburb (Harristown, 1300 people pop). It’s a township of mostly farmland. What puts Decatur on the map? Archer Daniels Midland Company and Tate&Lyle (Staleys). These are HUGE processing plants, one for soy, the other corn. Growing up, there were tons of family farms, and farms that were leased by other farmers because their owners for whatever reason couldn’t farm the land. Now when you drive by those fields in the summer, you see signs of Dow and Monsanto. I can remember when DeKalb corn was just corn, and not the GMO it is today. Monsanto gives small farms awards for crop yields, this is scary to me. Aren’t the large enough that they don’t have to touch the small farms in this country? As far as labeling goes, GMOs haven’t been around long enough to decide what the outcome will be. It takes several decades for patterns to show. Since soy flooded the market and the push for non-saturated oils in the 80s, we’ve seen a rise in thyroid issues. I don’t think this is a coincidence as there is a clear correlation between soy and Haishimotos. I prefer to proceed with caution at this point. Labeling isn’t going to be end all everyone wants it to be but it will bolster the organic market in this state, making demand and prices come down further. I like that outcome.

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Lisa May 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Love love your site. Beautiful writing and photography and such an inspiring journey!
Is there any easy was to browse topics you’ve written about? I see that I can search recipes but I was wondering what other topics you cover….

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Andie Mitchell May 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Lisa, thank you so much! What a kind comment!

You bring up a good point; I don’t really have a great feature/system for readers to browse topics/content other than the “recipes” tab and the “weight loss” tab above (to the right of the header, underneath the social media icons). I should work on that.

Thank you again :)

Andie

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THIEF 4 PATCH June 11, 2014 at 12:57 am

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Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write with regards to here.
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