In November 2012 Californians went to the polls and defeated a bill (Proposition 37) that would have mandated labeling of GE food or food that contained ingredients produced using genetic engineering technology. Now, not satisfied with that rather clear outcome, a new bill SB 1381 has been introduced by state senator Noreen Evans. This one similarly mandates labeling but differs in that farmers and distributors would no longer potentially be the objects of litigation if foods are not properly labeled.
As we noted previously with respect to Proposition 37, such bills are nothing but a ruse to mislead consumers and aid the organic foods industry. Americans have been eating genetically engineered food for nearly two decades, and there have been no reliably documented cases of harm from such consumption none. Rumors and myths about environmental or fauna disruptions are similarly undocumented by objective observers. But if consumers want foods that are not genetically engineered, there is already a way to obtain them buy USDA-certified organic products. Such products, by definition, may not contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Why is this bill, and others like it, a ruse? Because such labeling, despite what their advocates cynically assert, implies that non-GE foods are somehow more healthful than their GE counterparts, which has never been shown to be the case.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava adds, While we do believe a consumer has the right to know what is in their foods, that should refer to ingredients not to how they re produced. A peanut-containing product must be labeled since we know that peanut proteins can cause severe, indeed life-threatening symptoms, in susceptible individuals. But that has nothing to do with how the peanuts are produced. And anyone who implies that that is not the case needs some basic scientific education.