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Local Producers Quiet On Prop. 37 Despite Statewide Fervor

Prop. 37 has been getting much attention as the Nov. 6 Election nears, in part because big campaign donors are denouncing it and throwing massive amounts of money in advertising behind the No on 37 effort.

Does it matter to you whether genetically engineered ingredients are in your food?

California voters are being asked this very question on Election Day when they will decide whether to pass Proposition 37, otherwise known as The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. If passed by voters, the measure would require producers to label for consumers the list of any genetically engineered ingredients in foods being sold.

“The purpose of this measure is to create and enforce the fundamental right of the people of California to be fully informed about whether the food they purchase and eat is genetically engineered and not misbranded as natural so that they can choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such foods,” the text of the proposition states.

Prop. 37 has been getting much attention as the Nov. 6 Election nears, in part because big campaign donors are throwing massive amounts of money in advertising behind the No on 37 effort.

According to the Secretary of State's public access Campaign Finance Activity, millions have been raised on both sides of the issue. More than $32,000,000 has poured into the No On 37 side, with the largest donors being those with a big bottom-line-stake in the issue, including Monsanto, E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., Dow Agrisciences, Bayer Cropscience, BASF Plant Science, Pepsico, Nestle USA, Coca-Cola, Conagra Foods and others.

Coffers for the Yes on 37 folks pale in comparison, with just $3,900,000 donated at press time. Major contributors include Mercola Health Resources, Organic Consumers Fund and others.

Despite the statewide attention, local growers and producers don’t seem to be too concerned about Prop. 37. Patch has not spotted any aggressive campaigning for or against the measure in Southwest Riverside County, and Peggy Evans, who heads the Temecula Wine Growers Association, said the group is not taking a position on Prop. 37.

Local growers such as Eco-Farms in Temecula isn’t campaigning for or against the proposition on its website, nor is the Inland Empire CSA. Spokespeople for the organizations were not immediately available for comment.

Arguably, the research for or against genetically engineered foods is still lacking, despite the fact that many countries around the world prohibit genetically engineered products from entering the food chain in their respective nations.

A recent controversial study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, led by Gilles-Eric Séralini at the University of Caen in France, has helped fuel the argument over genetically engineered foods and has put more attention on Prop. 37.

The study followed 200 rats for two years, and concluded that the rodents fed either genetically engineered corn or the herbicide Roundup had an increased risk of developing tumors, suffering organ damage and dying prematurely.

But some have said criticized the study because it was conducted by an opponent of genetically engineered crops, and the findings have been disputed by some scientists who claim the research methods were flawed.

So how will you vote on this controversial issue? Does it matter to you? Where do you stand on the research?

Katheryn September 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Thank you Toni for writing this story it's important to know what you are eating. I personally don't purchase GMO products knowingly, and shop organic as much as possible. It's a shame the only places concerned about our well being and are getting the word out on Prop 37 are certified organic produce markets, mothers markets, sprouts, henry's and a few other stores Many scientist have been saying they don't know what the long term effects will be on our bodies if we use GMO products. I am for Prop 37 I want to know my food is safe not genetically engineered. You want sounds, this is what people are hearing in Temecula: http://temecula.patch.com/articles/citizen-reader-shares-mining-sounds#comment_4892629
Andrew Burns September 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Really, roundup will cause tumors? You dont say!
Cindy Petersen September 30, 2012 at 04:36 PM
As I understand it,the proposition isn't stopping anyone from selling genetically engineered food. It's just requiring that they tell us that it is.
D A September 30, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Of course they don't want it to pass, they have been genetically engeineering our food for years. iT COULD Prove to Be rather embarassing for them... Wasn't all the food in the movie Soilent green genetically engineered? They didn't want you to know the truth then either. LOL
Roberto September 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
As much as I hate givernment intervention, I want to know what I'm eating! I aquired a taste for pink slime and want to know where I can buy it by the pound.
Jerry Simeon September 30, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Sorry, I'd like to say something intelligent and meaningful, but we don't eat this stuff.... and neither should you. I'm sure that feeding the multitudes on earth is a big job. Keep it natural.... Grow your own as much as you can.
Andria September 30, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Given the lack of any long term research on the consequences of gmo food, absolutely the public should have the right to know when the food they are eating contains genetically engineered products. There is a reason why big money is being thrown in to this to thwart the labeling of these foods.
Only my thought September 30, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I will be voting yes for prop.37 Thanks to my neighbor I had no clue about this until Friday night I asked about her sign in her front yard and she explained about the GMO's I WISH I knew about it waaaay sooner
Only my thought September 30, 2012 at 06:38 PM
@Cindy as I understood when it was explained we/they as buyers are just asking for a label/sticker on the produce that states if it has GMO or if its free of GMOs just like they have a code sticker for produce when we buy it
Carole Masson September 30, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I DO want to know and to have a CHOICE. I don't believe you can eliminate all negatives (mold, GMO, pesticides, perchlorates, etc.) from your diet, but a good mix depending on what you can afford is the best we can do for ourselves. It is said the average person only eats 11 different foods. If all you are eating is from mainly one source like corn (corn flakes, corn chips, corn syrup, etc.) then the chances of the negatives piling up in your system are greater.
Diana September 30, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I will be voting yes on this too! Government has been poisoning our food for years and as consumers and human beings we should know what is our food, the preservatives and additives are creating way to many diseases in people in our Country, we have the highest rate of cancer, heart disease, & diabetics, of any other Country because our Government allows our food to be poisoned.
Jacqui Dobens October 01, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Toni, Your article is another reason that I simply LOVE Patch! One of my fellow sharers on the inaugural Tedxtemecula (www.tedxtemecula.com) event is a young girl (Gigi). She is sharing passionately about local schools providing GMO free lunches. At one of our meetings she shared that last year she felt a little odd bringing her "live food", non GMO lunches to school. Now, she is totally comfortable and says she simply wants the opportunity to offer an alternative. She is a little dynamo! I believe that applied knowledge is power. Thanks again Toni for empowering us!!!
trenchf00t October 01, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Many folks who gripe about "genetically engineered" food don't have any idea that almost nothing that they eat existed in nature before we came along. Whether it's organic or not, all our food is engineered by the gradual process of domestication if not by direct genetic manipulation. The fact is, if we don't engineer our food, we'll die. There are too many people chasing not enough food as it is. The mind is very powerful, and if you *think* you are getting "poisoned", then, unfortunately, you are. This argument notwithstanding, I think that you should know what goes into making your food, as long as you remember that engineering of our food is the reason we are alive today. Before you assume that you are being poisoned, remember that there is was no such thing as a banana before we came along, and growing corn is pretty damned difficult.
Andy October 01, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Most uninformed comment about GMOs and evolution I've ever read.
julian October 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
You have a point. Natural is usually a misnomer.
Kathleen Tammaro October 01, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I have studied the GMO issue very carefully. In fact, I eat 100% organic now to avoid them. In addition to GMO labeling, I sincerely hope that it will soon be mandated that food manufacturers must list everything toxic that is sprayed on crops or fed to animals. If you feed chickens arsenic, that is an ingredient. It should be listed. If you douse your soy with Roundup, that's an ingredient. List it. People value their health and they want to know what is in their food. Prop 37 should pass.
Rosa Hasler October 01, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Another bureaucratic boondoggle. More government regulations. More paperwork for business people to try to get through. Another committee to interfere in how you try to make an honest living. Get the government out of our lives. We've all been eating manipulated food for years. Another Obama program to make you "feel" like he's taking care of you. Daddy will protect you. I'm sooooooooo fed up.
Rosa Hasler October 01, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Another bureaucratic boondoggle. More government regulations. More paperwork for business people to try to get through. Another committee to interfere in how you try to make an honest living. Get the government out of our lives. We've all been eating manipulated food for years. Another Obama program to make you "feel" like he's taking care of you. Daddy will protect you. I'm sooooooooo fed up.
Andy October 01, 2012 at 10:39 PM
http://www.saynotogmos.org/ud2012/fp-content/docs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.1.pdf
trenchf00t October 01, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Just saw your link, will review it, thanks!
Anon October 01, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Hey Cindy, how is that occupy movement going?
trenchf00t October 01, 2012 at 10:59 PM
No, D A, Soylent Green was PEOPLE! People, I tell you! Why won't they believe me?!
Lash LaRue October 02, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Proponents for California's Proposition 37 which would require genetically-modified foods be labeled recently publicized a study in France suggesting that GMO foods can be dangerous. The study showed mice that exclusvely ate Monsanto NK603 developed tumors at an alarming rate and had high internal organ damage and death rates. University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Dr. Bruce Chassy is an expert in food science and human nutrition. He says there's little question but that the lab rats did - indeed - develop tumors at the rate the French claimed. He says that's what the rats are supposed to do. "They're used as lab rats because they do develop tumors at an alarmingly high rate and so they're a great model for studying tumor formation and carcinogenesis." Dr. Chassy said the rat study would have had the same results no matter what the rodents ate. That, he says, is a deception that proponents of Prop 37 has been using to sway an ingorant California electorate to vote for the measure. And it appears to be working. The latest Field Poll shows Prop 37 passing by a wide 2 to 1 margin.
Anyès Pelaez Vedel October 09, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I agree.
Anyès Pelaez Vedel October 09, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I think in the movie with Charlton Heston the food was...people....
Anyès Pelaez Vedel October 09, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Me too!

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