23 Sep 2012 - California, Vote NO on Proposition 37

So I know it’s a presidential election year, but there is a referendum on the ballot in California that is getting a great deal of attention across the country from food producers and consumers. It’s known as Proposition 37 and if approved by voters it would require the labeling of any and all food containing any GMO product to be so labeled in California.

You may recall ten years ago the same issue was on the ballot in Oregon and after an expensive and controversial campaign Oregon voters soundly defeated it. I am hoping that will happen in California, but it probably will be much closer there because it IS California.

It is worrisome to farmers, so much so that an Iowa farmer, Tim Burrack, recently wrote an open letter to California voters, saying “I can’t vote on Proposition 37 this Election Day, but I’m watching it closely, all the way from my farm in Iowa because this ballot initiative isn’t just bad for California - it’s bad for America.”

Quoting Tim’s open letter, “Here’s the problem: Prop 37 is an extremist measure that will raise food prices without making food safer or consumers more knowledgeable.

The fundamental idea behind Prop 37 is that there’s something wrong with the kind of food I’ve raised and you’ve eaten for more than 15 years. This is a strange claim because there’s nothing unusual about my corn and soybeans. They’re just like the vast majority of corn and soybeans planted and harvested in California and elsewhere: genetically modified to resist weeds and pests.”

Iowa farmer, Tim Burrack, continues “Because these crops carry a natural resistance to weeds that steal moisture, and insects that munch on roots and leaves, they grow stronger and healthier. This means more food and better food for everyone and less dependence on herbicides and pesticides. American food security and the health of our environment depend on biotechnology. It allows us to grow more food on less land, which is the very definition of sustainable agriculture.”

Tim concludes “The irony is that consumers who feel a need to avoid biotechnology already can do so: They look for the organic label.”

Well written, Tim, and I would hope that the voters of California will vote NO on Proposition 37 in November because I see no value for either producer or consumer.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.