Citing concerns over pesticides and contamination of organic fields, the Los Angeles City Council has unanimously endorsed Proposition 37, the California ballot initiative for labeling of genetically modified food.
Supporters rallied in front of the Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday, as the LA City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting Proposition 37, the California Right to Know ballot measure that would call for labeling of genetically engineered foods in California.
This measure would allow California to join 61 countries where labeling of genetically modified food is mandatory. It would also ensure that foods containing GMOs or genetically engineered ingredients will be prohibited from being marketed as "natural."
Council Member, Paul Koretz, author of the resolution, said today, “It's not often that the LA City Council votes unanimously to support a measure, but Prop 37 was a no-brainer. We have the right to know what's in the food we're eating and feeding our families."
"I'm proud to be a part of this true grassroots campaign in our struggle against the biggest pesticide and junk food companies in the world," he added.
Tom Fendley, political director of the Yes on 37 California Right to Know campaign, said, “We’re thrilled that the Los Angeles City Council voted to join our people’s movement today.”
“The Council joins millions of moms, dads, family farmers, doctors, scientists, and grocery store owners in saying, very simply, that we have the right to know what’s in our food.”
The No on 37 campaign has raised more than $40 million to oppose Prop 37, including the world's largest pesticide companies, led by Monsanto and DuPont. They are putting these donations towards a campaign of TV and radio ads, trying to convince Californians that Proposition 37 would increase food prices, and also lead to lawsuits and court battles.
Dave Murphy, co-chair of the California Right to Know campaign and founder of Food Democracy Now!, said, “The Los Angeles City Council clearly did not believe the lies in our opposition’s widely discredited TV ads.”
“They know Prop 37 won’t cost consumers a dime, because Prop 37 only requires a simple label. And they know Prop 37 won’t trigger lawsuits, because food companies will comply with this simple labeling law, just as they already do in 61 other countries.”
Bruce Palma, general manager of Co-Opportunity Natural Foods in Santa Monica, said, “Prop 37 won’t raise food costs, and most grocery store managers understand that it’s ridiculous to believe we’d be opening ourselves to lawsuits. Food companies will comply with this simple labeling law.”
Dr Sandra Salazar said, “As a family physician, I see patients trying to make the best food and exercise decisions for their families. At issue is the fundamental right to know what’s in our food.”
“This is a commonsense measure, and we should promote personal empowerment of families to make healthy food decisions.”
The Los Angeles City Council joins the California Democratic Party, Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressmen Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, and dozens of other California city and town councils, elected officials and candidates in endorsing Prop 37.
Below is the Partial Resolution Text:“WHEREAS, polls consistently show that more than 90 percent of the public want to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering;…”; and
WHEREAS, without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered food can unknowingly violate their own dietary and religious restrictions; and
WHEREAS the cultivation of genetically engineered crops can also cause serious impacts to the environment; for example, most genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand weed-killing pesticides known as herbicides; as a result hundreds of millions of pounds of additional herbicides have been used on U.S. farms….; and
WHEREAS, organic farming is a significant and increasingly important part of California agriculture. California has more organic cropland than any other state and has almost one out of every four certified organic operations in the nation; California’s organic agriculture is growing faster than 20 percent a year; and
WHEREAS, organic farmers are prohibited from using genetically engineered seeds; nonetheless, these farmers’ crops are regularly threatened with accidental contamination from neighboring lands where genetically engineered crops abound; this risk of contamination can erode public confidence in California’s organic products, significantly undermining this industry; Californians should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods whose production could harm the state’s organic farmers and its organic foods industry…”