Two Sides Prepare For California Genetically Modified Labeling Vote

This November, voters in California will decide whether the state should require labels on foods with genetically engineered ingredients. If the initiative, known as Proposition 37, passes, manufacturers would have to say somewhere on the front or the back of the food’s packaging if the product contains or may contain genetically engineered ingredients.

In the U.S. the vast majority of corn, soybeans, canola and sugar beets are genetically engineered. Those ingredients are in everything from salad dressing to ice cream.

As The Salt reported in May, over hundreds of thousands of Californians signed a petition to get the labeling initiative on the ballot.

So far supporters of the labeling measure have raised about $800,000. The amount is dwarfed by the nearly $25 million raised by opponents. That includes Monsanto, Campbell’s, and General Mills, who declined to comment for this story.

Despite the cash disadvantage, recent surveys have the “Label It” camp polling well ahead of the opposition. Still they’re bracing for a possible onslaught of anti-labeling ads between now and election day.

For more, listen to the story on All Things Considered.

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