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30 June 2012 - California, Vote ‘NO’

California ranks #1 in agricultural production in the United States. I also think California ranks #1 when it comes to producing new environmental rules and regulations that make it difficult for farmers and ranchers to do what they need to do.

The latest proposition will appear on the ballot in November in California. Voters will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on requiring the labeling of all foods containing GMO’s. I would like to offer some important information for California voters and for anyone else who thinks it is necessary to label all foods containing GMO’s.

The American Medical Association held its annual meeting in Chicago a few days ago and its members discussed the subject of bio-engineered foods. Let me quote some of their policy statement regarding the labeling issue; quoting the AMA...

“There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bio-engineered foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value, unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education. Federal oversight in agriculture should continue to be science-based.”

AMA Board Member, Dr. Patrice Harris, said, and again I quote “The science- based labeling policies of the Food & Drug Administration do not support special product labeling without evidence of material differences between bio-engineered foods and their traditional counterparts. The AMA adopted policy supporting this science-based approach, recognizing that there currently is no evidence that there are material differences or safety concerns in available bio-engineered foods.” A panel of British scientists last year reached the same conclusion after studying 150 reports dealing with safety and nutritional differences of conventional and GMO foods.

Finally, back in 2004 the National Academy of Sciences stated “...all foods, whether or not they are genetically engineered, carry potentially hazardous substances or pathogenic microbes and must be properly and prudently assessed to insure a reasonable degree of safety.”

Since bio-engineered foods have been around for nearly a century, if we require every food with a GMO to be labeled, we’ll probably have three-fourths of our food carrying that label if it becomes law. I consider it wasteful and unnecessary, and that’s why I have no problem urging California voters to vote ‘NO’ on this proposition.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.