By J.D. Hillard | KUSP –
This week on Talk of the Bay, we talk with two farmers discuss Proposition 37. The initiative would require labeling of foods that are genetically modified.
James Cochrane is a pioneer in the farming of organic strawberries. He’s a supporter of prop 37. Cannon Michael of Bowles Farming in Los Banos opposes prop 37.
This measure on the November ballot would require labels for genetically engineered foods and food made with genetically engineered ingredients. Proponents of the measure argue that genetically engineered food never went through a rigorous scientific process to determine its safety they also argue there is some evidence that genetically engineered crops can cause damage to the environment and consumers’ health. A recent study found rats who ate corn genetically engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup had significantly shorter lifespans and grew tumors more than rats who ate non-engineered corn. The case for this type of regulation is that it applies no direct restrictions on genetically engineered food and simply provides information for consumers.
Yes on 37’s largest donor, health website mercola.com donated 1.1 million dollars. Other funders include Dr. Bronners Soaps and the organic consumer’s fund. The measure has opponents: genetically engineered seed producer and chemical manufacturer Monsanto donated 7 million dollars to No on 37 as did Dupont, chemical manufacturer BASF, Bayer Cropscience and Conagra foods. Prop 37s critics say it will make food more expensive. They also pose some arguments you hear often around voter initiatives: that it is poorly written and may include unintended negative outcomes.
Photo: Michael Dorausch / flickr-planetc1