Difference between revisions of "California Proposition 37, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food (2012)"

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  referred  = Petition signatures |
 
  referred  = Petition signatures |
 
  topic = [[:Category:Business regulation, California|Regulations]] |
 
  topic = [[:Category:Business regulation, California|Regulations]] |
  status = On the ballot|
+
  status = {{defeated}} |
}}{{tnr}}{{tnr}}'''Proposition 37, a Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative''', is on the [[California 2012 ballot propositions|November 6, 2012 ballot]] in [[California]] as an {{issfull}}.<ref>[http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20834815/food-labeling-3-strikes-join-crowded-nov-ballot ''Mercury News'', "Food labeling, 3-strikes join crowded Nov. ballot", June 11, 2012]</ref>,<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303877604577380422927529892.html?mod=googlenews_wsj ''Wall Street Journal'', "Foes of Genetically Modified Foods Seek Vote on Labeling in California", May 2, 2012]</ref>
+
}}{{tnr}}{{tnr}}'''Proposition 37, a Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative''', was on the [[California 2012 ballot propositions|November 6, 2012 ballot]] in [[California]] as an {{issfull}}, where it was '''defeated.'''<ref>[http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20834815/food-labeling-3-strikes-join-crowded-nov-ballot ''Mercury News'', "Food labeling, 3-strikes join crowded Nov. ballot," June 11, 2012]</ref><ref>[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303877604577380422927529892.html?mod=googlenews_wsj ''Wall Street Journal'', "Foes of Genetically Modified Foods Seek Vote on Labeling in California," May 2, 2012]</ref>
  
If Proposition 37 is approved by voters, it will:
+
If Proposition 37 has been approved, it would have:
  
* Require labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if the food is made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.  
+
* Required labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if the food is made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.  
* Prohibit labeling or advertising such food as "natural."  
+
* Prohibited labeling or advertising such food as "natural."  
* Exempt from this requirement foods that are "certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages."
+
* Exempted from this requirement foods that are "certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages."
  
James Wheaton, who filed the ballot language for the initiative, refers to it as "The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act."
+
James Wheaton, who filed the ballot language for the initiative, called it "The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act."
 +
==Election results==
 +
:: ''See also: [[2012 ballot measure election results]]''
 +
 
 +
{{Short outcome
 +
| title = California Proposition 37
 +
| yes = 6,088,714
 +
| yespct = 48.6
 +
| no = 6,442,371
 +
| nopct = 51.4
 +
| image = {{defeated}}
 +
| unresolved =
 +
}}
 +
[[Category:Defeated, general, 2012]]
 +
[[Category:Defeated, notable, 2012]]
 +
:''These final, certified, results are from the [http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2012-general/sov-complete.pdf California Secretary of State].''
  
 
==Text of measure==
 
==Text of measure==
Line 30: Line 45:
 
===Summary===  
 
===Summary===  
  
The [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] includes two summaries for each statewide ballot measure. One summary, in bullet-point format, appears in the long-form description of each measure. A shorter form of the summary appears on the ballot label in the front of the voter guide, where there is a short description of each measure.
+
The [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] included two summaries for each statewide ballot measure. One summary, in bullet-point format, was in the long-form description of each measure. A shorter form of the summary was on the ballot label in the front of the voter guide.
  
The long-form summary for Proposition 37 says:
+
The long-form summary for Proposition 37 said:
  
 
{| style="width:85%; background:#F5F5DC; margin-top:.1em; border:2px solid #cccccc; solid;"
 
{| style="width:85%; background:#F5F5DC; margin-top:.1em; border:2px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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|}
 
|}
  
The short-form (ballot label) summary for Proposition 37 says:
+
The short-form (ballot label) summary for Proposition 37 said:
  
 
{| style="width:85%; background:#F5F5DC; margin-top:.1em; border:2px solid #cccccc; solid;"
 
{| style="width:85%; background:#F5F5DC; margin-top:.1em; border:2px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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|}
 
|}
  
Neither of the two [[Ballot summary (California)|summaries]] in the final voter guide is identical to the [[Ballot summary (California)|summary]] that was originally given to Proposition 37, when its sponsors sought a summary prior to circulating petitions to qualify the measure for the ballot. The summary that was given by election officials to Proposition 37 at that time said:
+
Neither of the two [[Ballot summary (California)|summaries]] in the final voter guide was identical to the [[Ballot summary (California)|summary]] that was originally given to Proposition 37, when its sponsors sought a summary prior to circulating petitions to qualify the measure for the ballot. The summary that was given by election officials to Proposition 37 at that time said:
  
 
{| style="width:85%; background:#F5F5DC; margin-top:.1em; border:2px solid #cccccc; solid;"
 
{| style="width:85%; background:#F5F5DC; margin-top:.1em; border:2px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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==Support==
 
==Support==
  
===Supporters===
+
Supporters included:
 
+
Supporters include:
+
 
[[File:Yes on Prop 37.PNG|thumb|500px|The "Yes on 37" logo]]
 
[[File:Yes on Prop 37.PNG|thumb|500px|The "Yes on 37" logo]]
* Organic Consumers' Association
+
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_Consumers_Association 850,000-member Organic Consumers Association]<ref>[http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/index.cfm ''at official OrganicConsumers.Org'', "Millions against Monsanto" linking to http://organicconsumersfund.org/label/, 2012.11.05]</ref>, also 1st largest donor says below
* Nature's Path
+
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature's_Path non-GMO packaged food maker Nature's Path]<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nature%27s_Path&oldid=521445308#cite_ref-18 ''Wikipedia snapshot reference'', shows support, 2012.11.05]</ref>, also 4th largest donor says below
* The Institute for Responsible Technology<ref>[http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/324143 ''Digital Journal'', "Californians set to vote on labeling of genetically modified food", May 3, 2012]</ref>
+
* [http://1.JotHere.com/LSAUBO 1316-location “Food with Integrity” Chipotle Mexican Grill] "because knowing more about where our food comes from is always better than knowing less. In light of this, and our vision[ and slogan] of Food With Integrity, we wholeheartedly support the cause of Prop 37, having endorsed the measure as soon as we heard it was on the ballot."<ref>[http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/html/caprop37.html ''official position at Chipotle.com'', "(Chipotle says) CA Prop 37: Vote YES to Know," 2012.11.05]</ref>
* The [[California Democratic Party]]<ref>[http://walnut.patch.com/articles/democratic-party-picks-state-ballot-measures-to-support ''Walnut Patch'', "Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support", July 30, 2012]</ref>
+
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Foods_Market 311-location “Health Starts Here” Whole Foods Market] "because [we have] long believed [our] customers have the right to know how their food is produced. However, [we have] some reservations with the proposition as drafted and hope several issues can be addressed in [its] implementation phase.."<ref>[http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/whole-foods-market-supports-californias-proposition-37 ''official position at WholeFoodsMarket.com'', "Whole Foods Market supports California's Proposition 37, 2012.11.05]</ref>
 +
* [http://www.mothersmarket.com/locations.html 7-location Mother's Market & Kitchen] "because we believe our customers have the right to know what is in the products they buy"<ref>[http://www.mothersmarket.com/news/breaking-news/148-vote-yes-on-prop-37.html ''official position at MothersMarket.com'', "(Mother's Market says )Vote Yes on Prop 37," 2012.11.05]</ref>
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food,_Inc. 2008 nationwide documentary Food, Inc.] (7.8 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/ in IMDB]) strong indirect suggestion "Support Prop 37 and the California Right to Know Movement."<ref>[https://www.facebook.com/Foodinc/posts/103607456468502 ''an official statement via Facebook.com/Foodinc'', "You know the dangers of GMOs," 2012.11.05]</ref>; and "transparency and the consumer’s right to know .. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto_Company Monsanto] and its allies have managed to stifle in Washington for nearly two decades" but "If Prop 37 passes" [it rightfully puts in question] "not just .. genetically modified crops but the public’s confidence in the[ nation's] industrial food chain"<ref>[https://www.facebook.com/Foodinc/posts/534179619940990 ''an official statement via Facebook.com/Foodinc'', "celebrated author & featured star of Food Inc" on CA Prop 37, 2012.11.05]</ref>
 +
* The Institute for Responsible Technology<ref>[http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/324143 ''Digital Journal'', "Californians set to vote on labeling of genetically modified food," May 3, 2012]</ref>
 +
* The [[California Democratic Party]]<ref>[http://walnut.patch.com/articles/democratic-party-picks-state-ballot-measures-to-support ''Walnut Patch'', "Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support," July 30, 2012]</ref>
 +
* The Green Party of California<ref>[http://www.cagreens.org/elections/propositions/37 Green Party of California, 2012 November Elections, "Why the Green Party Endorses Proposition 37"</ref>
  
 
The arguments in favor of Proposition 37 in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] were submitted by:
 
The arguments in favor of Proposition 37 in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] were submitted by:
Line 100: Line 118:
 
===Arguments in favor===
 
===Arguments in favor===
  
The arguments presented in favor of Proposition 37 in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] include:
+
The arguments presented in favor of Proposition 37 in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] included:
  
 
* "You should have the right to know what's in your food."
 
* "You should have the right to know what's in your food."
Line 110: Line 128:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="2" style="background-color:#FBEC5D; color:black;" align="center" | '''Total campaign cash''' [[File:Invest.png|21px]]
+
| colspan="2" style="background-color:#FBEC5D; color:black;" align="center" | '''Total campaign cash''' [[File:Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png|21px]]<br><small>''as of November 3, 2012''</small>
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="background-color:white; color:black;" | {{support}} '''Support:'''
 
| style="background-color:white; color:black;" | {{support}} '''Support:'''
| align="right" | '''$4,100,000'''
+
| align="right" | '''$8,700,000'''
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="background-color:white; color: black;" | {{oppose}} '''Opposition:'''  
 
| style="background-color:white; color: black;" | {{oppose}} '''Opposition:'''  
| align="right" | '''$34,500,000'''
+
| align="right" | '''$45,600,000'''
 
|}
 
|}
Joseph Mercola is one of the main financial supporters of the initiative. He is an osteopath who lives in suburban Chicago. According to Mercola, "Your health care, your food supply, everything you need to live a healthy life is now being taken away and controlled by a massive industrial complex and corrupt government."<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/19/4272670/label-this-one-do-not-touch.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Dan Morain: Label this one 'Do Not Touch'", February 19, 2012]</ref>
+
Joseph Mercola was one of the main financial supporters of Proposition 37. He is an osteopath who lives in suburban Chicago. According to Mercola, "Your health care, your food supply, everything you need to live a healthy life is now being taken away and controlled by a massive industrial complex and corrupt government."<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/19/4272670/label-this-one-do-not-touch.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Dan Morain: Label this one 'Do Not Touch'," February 19, 2012]</ref>
  
These are the $50,000 and over donors to the "yes" campaign '''as of October 1, 2012''':
+
These are the $50,000 and over donors to the "yes" campaign '''as of Saturday, November 3, 2012''':
  
 
{{donor box}}
 
{{donor box}}
 +
|-
 +
| Organic Consumers Fund
 +
| align="right" | $1,334,865
 +
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercola Health Resources
 
| Mercola Health Resources
| align="right" | $1,100,000
+
| align="right" | $1,115,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Organic Consumers Fund
+
| Kent Whealy
| align="right" | $770,000
+
| align="right" | $1,000,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Nature's Path Foods
 
| Nature's Path Foods
| align="right" | $610,709
+
| align="right" | $660,709
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
 
| Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
| align="right" | $358,883
+
| align="right" | $566,438
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Mark Squire/Stillonger Trust
 +
| align="right" | $440,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Wehah Farm (Lundberg Family Farms)
 
| Wehah Farm (Lundberg Family Farms)
| align="right" | $250,000
+
| align="right" | $251,500
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Alex Bogusky
+
| Ali Partovi
| align="right" | $100,000
+
| align="right" | $219,113
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Amy's Kitchen
 
| Amy's Kitchen
 +
| align="right" | $200,000
 +
 +
|-
 +
| Great Foods of America
 +
| align="right" | $177,000
 +
 +
|-
 +
| Alex Bogusky
 
| align="right" | $100,000
 
| align="right" | $100,000
  
Line 158: Line 192:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Great Foods of America
+
| Cropp Cooperative (Organic Valley)
 
| align="right" | $100,000
 
| align="right" | $100,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Annie's, Inc.
 
| Annie's, Inc.
| align="right" | $50,000
 
 
|-
 
| Cropp Cooperative (Organic Valley)
 
 
| align="right" | $50,000
 
| align="right" | $50,000
  
Line 191: Line 221:
 
* Tom Hudson. Hudson is the executive director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee.<ref name=against>[http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vig-public-display/110612-general-election/prop-37/prop-37-rebut-arg-in-favor.pdf ''Arguments against Proposition 37 in the California Official Voter Guide'']</ref>
 
* Tom Hudson. Hudson is the executive director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee.<ref name=against>[http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vig-public-display/110612-general-election/prop-37/prop-37-rebut-arg-in-favor.pdf ''Arguments against Proposition 37 in the California Official Voter Guide'']</ref>
  
Other opponents include:
+
Other opponents included:
  
* The [[California Republican Party]].<ref name=walpatch>[http://walnut.patch.com/articles/california-republicans-oppose-proposed-tax-measures ''Walnut Creek Patch'', "California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measures", August 12, 2012]</ref>
+
* The [[California Republican Party]].<ref name=walpatch>[http://walnut.patch.com/articles/california-republicans-oppose-proposed-tax-measures ''Walnut Creek Patch'', "California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measures," August 12, 2012]</ref>
  
 
===Arguments against===
 
===Arguments against===
  
The arguments in opposition to Proposition 37 presented in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] include:
+
The arguments in opposition to Proposition 37 presented in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]] included:
  
 
* "It's a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, create new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions--without providing any health or safety benefits."
 
* "It's a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, create new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions--without providing any health or safety benefits."
Line 207: Line 237:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="2" style="background-color:#FBEC5D; color:black;" align="center" | '''Total campaign cash''' [[File:Invest.png|21px]]
+
| colspan="2" style="background-color:#FBEC5D; color:black;" align="center" | '''Total campaign cash''' [[File:Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png|21px]]<br><small>''as of November 3, 2012''</small>
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="background-color:white; color:black;" | {{support}} '''Support:'''
 
| style="background-color:white; color:black;" | {{support}} '''Support:'''
| align="right" | '''$4,100,000'''
+
| align="right" | '''$8,700,000'''
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="background-color:white; color: black;" | {{oppose}} '''Opposition:'''  
 
| style="background-color:white; color: black;" | {{oppose}} '''Opposition:'''  
| align="right" | '''$34,500,000'''
+
| align="right" | '''$45,600,000'''
 
|}
 
|}
As of October 1, 2012, about $34.5 million has been donated to the "No on 37" campaign effort.<ref>[http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_21313730/campaign-defeat-california-gmo-label-law-raises-12m ''Twin Cities (from the Los Angeles Times)'', "Campaign to defeat California GMO label law raises $12M", August 14, 2012]</ref>
+
As of November 3, 2012, about $45.6 million had been donated to the "No on 37" campaign effort.<ref>[http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_21313730/campaign-defeat-california-gmo-label-law-raises-12m ''Twin Cities (from the Los Angeles Times)'', "Campaign to defeat California GMO label law raises $12M," August 14, 2012]</ref>
  
These are the $100,000 and over donors to the "no" campaign '''as of October 1, 2012''':
+
These are the $100,000 and over donors to the "no" campaign '''as of Saturday, November 3, 2012''':
  
 
{{donor box}}
 
{{donor box}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Monsanto
 
| Monsanto
| align="right" | $7,100,500
+
| align="right" | $8,112,867
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co.
 
| E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co.
| align="right" | $4,900,000
+
| align="right" | $5,400,000
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Pepsico, Inc.
 +
| align="right" | $2,145,400
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Grocery Manufacturers Association
 +
| align="right" | $2,002,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 243: Line 281:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Pepsico, Inc.
+
| Syngenta Corporation
| align="right" | $1,716,300
+
| align="right" | $2,000,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Nestle USA
+
| Kraft Foods Global
| align="right" | $1,169,400
+
| align="right" | $1,950,500
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Coca-Cola North America
 
| Coca-Cola North America
| align="right" | $1,164,400
+
| align="right" | $1,700,500
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Conagra Foods
+
| Nestle USA
| align="right" | $1,076,700
+
| align="right" | $1,315,600
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Syngenta Corporation
+
| Conagra Foods
| align="right" | $1,000,000
+
| align="right" | $1,176,700
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| General Mills
 
| General Mills
| align="right" | $908,200
+
| align="right" | $1,135,300
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Kellogg Company
 +
| align="right" | $790,000
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Smithfield Foods
 +
| align="right" | $683,900
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 271: Line 317:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Kellogg Company
+
| Campbell's Soup
| align="right" | $632,500
+
| align="right" | $500,000
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Heinz Foods
 +
| align="right" | $500,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Hershey Company
 
| Hershey Company
| align="right" | $498,006
+
| align="right" | $493,900
  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| The J.M. Smucker Company
 
| The J.M. Smucker Company
| align="right" | $388,000
+
| align="right" | $485,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Council for Biotechnology Information
+
| Bimbo Bakeries
| align="right" | $375,000
+
| align="right" | $422,900
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Grocery Manufacturers Association
+
| Ocean Spray Cranberries
 +
| align="right" | $387,100
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Mars Food North America
 +
| align="right" | $376,650
 +
 
 +
|-
 +
| Council for Biotechnology Information
 
| align="right" | $375,000
 
| align="right" | $375,000
  
Line 295: Line 353:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Bumble Bee Foods
+
| Unilever
| align="right" | $368,500
+
| align="right" | $372,100
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Ocean Spray Cranberries
+
| Bumble Bee Foods
| align="right" | $362,100
+
| align="right" | $368,500
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 307: Line 365:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Bimbo Bakeries
+
| Kraft Food Group
| align="right" | $338,300
+
| align="right" | $304,500
 
+
|-
+
| Pioneer Hi-Bred International
+
| align="right" | $310,100
+
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 327: Line 381:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Campbell's Soup
+
| Bunge North America
| align="right" | $250,000
+
| align="right" | $248,600
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 337: Line 391:
 
| Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
 
| Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
 
| align="right" | $237,664
 
| align="right" | $237,664
 +
 +
|-
 +
| Abbott Nutrition
 +
| align="right" | $234,500
 +
 +
|-
 +
| Cargill, Inc.
 +
| align="right" | $226,846
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 343: Line 405:
  
 
|-
 
|-
| Cargill, Inc.
+
| Flowers Foods
| align="right" | $202,229
+
| align="right" | $182,000
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 352: Line 414:
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Knouse Foods Cooperative
 
| Knouse Foods Cooperative
| align="right" | $135,831
+
| align="right" | $164,731
  
|-
 
| Mars Food North America
 
| align="right" | $100,242
 
 
|}
 
|}
  
Other food companies who have contributed to the "no" campaign (but with checks of less than $100,000) include Sunny Delight Beverages, McCain Foods, Dole Packaged Foods, Heinz, Idahoan Foods, Richelieu Foods, Land O'Lakes, Morton Salt and Godiva Chocolatier.
+
Other food companies who contributed to the "no" campaign (but with checks of less than $150,000) included Sunny Delight Beverages, McCain Foods, Tree Top, Idahoan Foods, Richelieu Foods, Land O'Lakes, Hillshire Brands, Morton Salt, Clorox, Goya de Puerto Rico, Sargento and Godiva Chocolatier.
  
 
==Editorial opinion==
 
==Editorial opinion==
 
+
{{cal2012vertical}}
 
:: ''See also: [[Endorsements of California ballot measures, 2012]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Endorsements of California ballot measures, 2012]]''
  
 
==="Yes on 37"===
 
==="Yes on 37"===
  
* The '''''Bay Area Reporter:''''' "Prohibited in many countries (e.g. France), no one really knows the health risks of genetically engineered food. This is a transparency measure, which will allow the consumer to make an informed decision. It would be the first such measure of its kind in the United States."<ref>[http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=68060 ''Bay Area Reporter'', "Editorial: State ballot measures", September 20, 2012]</ref>
+
* The '''''Bay Area Reporter:''''' "Prohibited in many countries (e.g. France), no one really knows the health risks of genetically engineered food. This is a transparency measure, which will allow the consumer to make an informed decision. It would be the first such measure of its kind in the United States."<ref>[http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=68060 ''Bay Area Reporter'', "Editorial: State ballot measures," September 20, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Marin Independent Journal:''''' "Consumers have a right to know what they are buying and consuming."<ref>[http://www.marinij.com/opinion/ci_21753676/editorial-ijs-endorsements-state-propositions-34-37 ''Marin Independent Journal'', "Editorial: IJ's endorsements for state Propositions 34-37," October 12, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''North County Times:''''' "Proposition 37 is as common-sense a measure as Californians have had a chance to approve in quite some time."<ref>[http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-yes-on-prop/article_a9d21605-15a3-5a14-9435-5494c8f142b9.html ''North County Times'', "Yes on 37," August 30, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''San Francisco Bay Guardian:''''' "Prop. 37 doesn't seek regulations or limits in any way. It just mandates that GMO food be labeled — the way it is in at least 50 countries worldwide, including all of the European Union, China, Japan and Russia."<ref>[http://www.sfbg.com/2012/10/03/endorsements-2012-state-ballot-measures ''San Francisco Bay Guardian'', "Endorsements 2012: State ballot measures," October 3, 2012]</ref>
  
 
==="No on 37"===
 
==="No on 37"===
  
* The '''''Contra Costa Times''''': "Proposition 37 purports to be a simple law that requires proper labeling to identify so-called genetically modified food. If that was all it did, we would be for it. Unfortunately, it does much more, and we think voters should send it back to its creators for some modification."<ref>[http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21603645/contra-costa-times-oakland-tribune-summary-our-endorsements ''Contra Costa Times'', "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions", September 22, 2012]</ref>
+
* The '''''Contra Costa Times''''': "Proposition 37 purports to be a simple law that requires proper labeling to identify so-called genetically modified food. If that was all it did, we would be for it. Unfortunately, it does much more, and we think voters should send it back to its creators for some modification."<ref>[http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21603645/contra-costa-times-oakland-tribune-summary-our-endorsements ''Contra Costa Times'', "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions," September 22, 2012]</ref>
  
* The ''[[San Jose Mercury News]]''<ref>[http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21603644/summary-our-endorsements-state-propositions ''San Jose Mercury News'', "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions", September 22, 2012]</ref>
+
* The '''''Daily Democrat''''' (Woodland, California): "While we support identification of genetically modified food, this measure is so convoluted as to impose excessive costs on our state's farmers and agricultural industries."<ref>[http://www.dailydemocrat.com/editorial/ci_21770457/democrat-endorsements-propositions ''Daily Democrat'', "Democrat endorsements: Propositions," October 14, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Fresno Bee:''''' "Under Prop. 37, no food that uses genetically engineered ingredients could be called natural. That seems to make certain sense. But it contains wording that could prohibit 'natural' labels on any food that has been pressed or milled. That might include grain, which is milled, or olive oil, which is produced by pressing olives. Proponents say that wasn't their intent. But that's no guarantee against lawsuits."<ref>[http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/19/2997278/editorial-prop-37-is-wrong-approach.html ''Fresno Bee'', "Prop. 37 is wrong approach to food labeling," October 1, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Long Beach Press Telegram:'''''<ref>[http://www.presstelegram.com/opinions/ci_21647829/endorsement-no-prop-37-more-information-is-good ''Long Beach Press Telegram'', "Endorsement: No on Prop. 37 -- More information is good but not when it comes with a heavy legal burden on small business," October 9, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Los Angeles Daily News:''''' ."..once you get past the pleasing outside surface of this proposition (more information is good, right?), it reveals a rotten interior that pits the organic food industry against the non-organic food industry, includes special interest exemptions and sets up a system ripe for lawsuit abuse."<ref>[http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_21647829/endorsement-no-prop-37-more-information-is-good ''Los Angeles Daily News'', "Endorsement: No on Prop. 37 -- More information is good but not when it comes with a heavy legal burden on small business," September 27, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'': "Unfortunately, the initiative to require labeling of those ingredients is sloppily written. It contains language that, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, could be construed by the courts to imply that processed foods could not be labeled as 'natural' even if they weren't genetically engineered. Most of the burden for ensuring that foods are properly labeled would fall not on producers but on retailers, which would have to get written statements from their suppliers verifying that there were no bioengineered ingredients — a paperwork mandate that could make it hard for mom-and-pop groceries to stay in business. Enforcement would largely occur through lawsuits brought by members of the public who suspect grocers of selling unlabeled food, a messy and potentially expensive way to bring about compliance."<ref>[http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-end-prop37-20121004,0,5824651.story ''Los Angeles Times'', "No on Proposition 37," October 4, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Merced Sun-Star:''''' "The initiative would grant authority over labeling to the California Department of Public Health, which already has plenty of work combating food-borne pathogens. For state government, the cost of the additional duty would be relatively small, but the initiative provides no funding to cover the additional work."<ref>[http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/09/25/2558110/our-view-prop-37-should-be-rejected.html ''Merced Sun-Star'', "Our View: Prop. 37 should be rejected," September 25, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Modesto Bee:''''' " This flawed measure would set back the cause of labeling."<ref>[http://www.modbee.com/2012/09/23/2384952/no-on-proposition-37.html ''Modesto Bee'', "No on Proposition 37,"
 +
September 23, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The ''[[Orange County Register]]'': "Voters should be concerned that Prop. 37 would likely spawn waves of lawsuits, with the litigation and enforcement costs passed on to grocers and the consumers. The initiative's language invites abuse."<ref>[http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/prop-373027-food-california.html ''Orange County Register'', "Editorial: No on Prop. 37 (food labeling)," September 28, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Press-Enterprise:''''' "Prop. 37 is the wrong approach to addressing the merits or dangers of genetically engineered food. Whatever its intent, this badly written, logically muddled initiative stands to do more mischief than good."<ref>[http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20121001-election-no-on-37.ece ''Press-Enterprise'', "No on 37," October 1, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Redding Record Searchlight:''''' "But as written, Proposition 37 would create a fertile new field of litigation. Retailers would be mainly responsible for ensuring the proper labeling of the products they sell, overseen by the state Department of Public Health, but private lawyers and activists would have the power to sue over alleged violations and collect their costs and fees — even if nobody's suffered any damages. More work for creative plaintiff's lawyers and more hassles for businesses? That is not what California needs."<ref>[http://www.redding.com/news/2012/sep/22/editorial-gmo-labeling-more-lawsuits-not-more/ ''Redding Record Searchlight'', "Editorial: GMO labeling: More lawsuits, not more safety," September 22, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The ''[[Sacramento Bee]]'': "Proposition 37 is a classic example of an initiative that shouldn't be on the ballot. It is an overreach, is ambiguous, and would open the way for countless lawsuits against retailers who sell food that might lack the proper labeling."<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/16/4822220/prop-37-is-a-sour-plan-for-food.html#storylink=misearch ''Sacramento Bee'', "Endorsements: Prop. 37 is a sour plan for food labeling," September 16, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''San Bernardino Sun''''': "The most concerning aspect of Prop. 37 is its method of 'enforcement.' It allows every member of the public to become an enforcer, dropping lawsuits if they only suspect noncompliance but have no evidence...What a nightmare scenario for grocers small and large who, under the terms of the initiative, would have to keep reams of paperwork certifying that all the food they sell is properly labeled as to which might contain genetically modified organisms or not."<ref>[http://www.sbsun.com/editorial/ci_21673277/no-prop-37-more-information-is-good-but ''San Bernardino Sun'', "No on Prop. 37: More information is good, but rampant litigation isn't," October 1, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The ''[[San Diego Union-Tribune]]'': "Should genetically modified food be labeled and face more thorough regulation? That is a completely valid question, one that should be the focus of congressional hearings and possible federal legislation. It is not, however, an issue that should be addressed via a weakly crafted state ballot proposition whose leading donor appears to stand to gain from its passage."<ref>[http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/28/prop-37-no-way-to-address-an-important-issue/ ''San Diego Union-Tribune'', "Prop. 37 no way to address an important issue," September 28, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The ''[[San Francisco Chronicle]]'': "Prop. 37 is fraught with vague and problematic provisions that could make it costly for consumers and a legal nightmare for those who grow, process or sell food."<ref>[http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Prop-37-is-not-answer-on-food-labeling-3882454.php ''San Francisco Chronicle'', "Prop. 37 is not answer on food labeling," September 20, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The ''[[San Jose Mercury News]]''<ref>[http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21603644/summary-our-endorsements-state-propositions ''San Jose Mercury News'', "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions," September 22, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Santa Cruz Sentinel:''''' "Citizens would be empowered to sue grocers they believe to be selling unlabeled GE foods, without needing to prove any damages. Clearly, this provision would create even more lawsuits. And who would this benefit? Lawyers."<ref>[http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/opinion/ci_21715506/editorial-no-37-flawed-measure-could-prove-costly ''Santa Cruz Sentinel'', "Editorial: No on 37: Flawed measure could prove costly and add to litigation burden," October 6, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Ventura County Star''''': "Such a law would create mistrust and confusion about the foods that Californians eat."<ref>[http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/13/editorial-food-labeling-law-leaves-a-bad-taste/ ''Ventura County Star'', "Editorial: Food labeling law leaves a bad taste; No on Prop. 37," September 13, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* The '''''Victorville Daily Press:''''' "Proposition 37 is, at bottom, another means of adding income to those lawyers — and they seem to be legion — who seek remuneration by bringing suit under what would otherwise be frivolous circumstances."<ref>[http://www.vvdailypress.com/opinion/proposition-36930-unnecessary-adding.html ''Victorville Daily Press'', "Proposition 37 is unnecessary," October 4, 2012]</ref>
  
 
==Polling information==
 
==Polling information==
Line 379: Line 479:
 
::''See also: [[Polls, 2012 ballot measures]]''
 
::''See also: [[Polls, 2012 ballot measures]]''
  
A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll was conducted from September 17-23, 2012.<ref>[http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-prop37-times-poll-20120927,0,5015236.story ''Los Angeles Times'', "Poll finds Prop. 37 is likely to pass", September 27, 2012]</ref>
+
A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll was conducted from September 17-23, 2012.<ref>[http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-prop37-times-poll-20120927,0,5015236.story ''Los Angeles Times'', "Poll finds Prop. 37 is likely to pass," September 27, 2012]</ref>
 
{{California2012Proposition37Poll}}
 
{{California2012Proposition37Poll}}
 +
 +
Jayson L. Lusk and Brandon R. McFadden from Oklahoma State University conducted a survey from September 20-27, 2012.  The survey collected responses from 822 likely voters and found 76.8% intend to vote in favor of Proposition 37.  The study found that possible increases in food prices slightly diminish support.  Additionally, the study measured the effect of advertisements used in media campaigns by supporters and opponents of the proposition and found that the opponent advertisement was more effective in swaying likely voters.<ref>[http://agecon.okstate.edu/faculty/publications/4369.pdf ''Voter’s Intentions on Proposition 37 Requiring Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods in California'', Jayson L. Lusk and Brandon R. McFadden, October 1, 2011]</ref>
  
 
==Path to the ballot==
 
==Path to the ballot==
Line 391: Line 493:
 
* [[California signature requirements|504,760 valid signatures]] were required for qualification purposes.
 
* [[California signature requirements|504,760 valid signatures]] were required for qualification purposes.
 
* The 150-day circulation deadline for #11-0071 was June 4, 2012, while the 150-day deadline for Version #11-0099 was July 13, 2012.
 
* The 150-day circulation deadline for #11-0071 was June 4, 2012, while the 150-day deadline for Version #11-0099 was July 13, 2012.
* Supporters filed about 970,000 signatures in early May on Version #11-0099.<ref name=submit>[http://elections.firedoglake.com/2012/05/02/ca-genetically-modified-food-labeling-initiative-likely-to-make-the-ballot/ ''FireDogLake Elections'', "CA: Genetically Modified Food Labeling Initiative Likely to Make the Ballot", May 2, 2012]</ref>
+
* Supporters filed about 970,000 signatures in early May on Version #11-0099.<ref name=submit>[http://elections.firedoglake.com/2012/05/02/ca-genetically-modified-food-labeling-initiative-likely-to-make-the-ballot/ ''FireDogLake Elections'', "CA: Genetically Modified Food Labeling Initiative Likely to Make the Ballot," May 2, 2012]</ref>
 
* The measure was certified for the {{nov06ca2012}} on June 11, 2012.
 
* The measure was certified for the {{nov06ca2012}} on June 11, 2012.
 +
 +
'''Cost of signature collection:'''
 +
 +
The cost of collecting the signatures to qualify Proposition 37 for the ballot came to '''$1,463,968.'''
 +
 +
The signature vendor was [[Masterson & Wright]].
  
 
:: ''See also: [[California ballot initiative petition signature costs]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[California ballot initiative petition signature costs]]''
Line 399: Line 507:
  
 
:: ''See also: [[List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2012]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2012]]''
 
+
===Analysis lawsuit===
Supporters of Proposition 37 filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court on August 9, 2012. The lawsuit was successful. The purpose of the lawsuit was to force the [[California Secretary of State]] to revise the state's "impartial analysis" of Proposition 37 that appears in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]]. The correction asked for by Proposition 37 supporters, and ordered by the court, amounts to the change of one word. Specifically, the court ordered that the word "some" replace the word "all" in this sentence: "Given the way the measure is written, there is a possibility that these restrictions would be interpreted by the courts to apply to <u>'''some'''</u> processed foods regardless of whether they are genetically engineered." (In the actual voter guide, the word <u>'''some'''</u> will not appear in <u>'''underlined bold'''</u> form.)<ref>[http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vig-public-display/110612-general-election/court-orders/prop37-peremptory-writ-filed-1221.pdf ''In the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento'', "James Russell Wheaton v. Debra Bowen", order issued August 10, 2012]</ref>
+
<onlyinclude>{{#ifeq:{{{transcludesection|ANALYSISpage}}}|ANALYSISpage|
 +
Supporters of Proposition 37 filed a lawsuit in {{JP|Superior Court of Sacramento County, California|Sacramento Superior Court}} on August 9, 2012. The lawsuit was successful. The purpose of the lawsuit was to force the [[California Secretary of State]] to revise the state's "impartial analysis" of Proposition 37 that appeared in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|state's official voter guide]]. The correction asked for by Proposition 37 supporters, and ordered by the court, amounted to the change of one word. Specifically, the court ordered that the word "some" replace the word "all" in this sentence: "Given the way the measure is written, there is a possibility that these restrictions would be interpreted by the courts to apply to <u>'''some'''</u> processed foods regardless of whether they are genetically engineered." (In the actual voter guide, the word <u>'''some'''</u> will not appear in <u>'''underlined bold'''</u> form.)<ref>[http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vig-public-display/110612-general-election/court-orders/prop37-peremptory-writ-filed-1221.pdf ''In the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento'', "James Russell Wheaton v. Debra Bowen," order issued August 10, 2012]</ref>
 +
}}</onlyinclude>
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
{{cal2012vertical}}{{submit a link}}
+
{{submit a link}}
 
'''Basic information:'''
 
'''Basic information:'''
  
Line 410: Line 520:
 
* [http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2012/general/pdf/37-arg-rebuttals.pdf Arguments for and against Proposition 37] in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|official state voter guide]]
 
* [http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2012/general/pdf/37-arg-rebuttals.pdf Arguments for and against Proposition 37] in the [[California Voter Guide (official)|official state voter guide]]
 
* [http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i1044_11-0099_(genetically_engineered_food_v2).pdf Letter requesting a ballot title for Initiative 11-0099]
 
* [http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i1044_11-0099_(genetically_engineered_food_v2).pdf Letter requesting a ballot title for Initiative 11-0099]
 +
* [https://cali.livingvotersguide.org/ca_prop_37 Living Voters Guide to Proposition 37]
 
* [http://smartvoter.org/2012/11/06/ca/state/prop/37/ Proposition 37], an overview prepared by the [[League of Women Voters of California]]
 
* [http://smartvoter.org/2012/11/06/ca/state/prop/37/ Proposition 37], an overview prepared by the [[League of Women Voters of California]]
 
* [http://votersedge.org/california/ballot-measures/2012/november/prop-37 Proposition 37 on Voter's Edge]
 
* [http://votersedge.org/california/ballot-measures/2012/november/prop-37 Proposition 37 on Voter's Edge]
 
* [http://www.kcet.org/news/ballotbrief/elections2012/propositions/prop-37-genetically-modified-foods-labeling.html Proposition 37 Cheatsheet] from KCET
 
* [http://www.kcet.org/news/ballotbrief/elections2012/propositions/prop-37-genetically-modified-foods-labeling.html Proposition 37 Cheatsheet] from KCET
 +
* [http://californiachoices.org/ballot-measures/proposition-37 Proposition 37] on California Choices (sponsored by Next 10, IGS at UC Berkeley, the UC San Diego Political Science Department, the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford, and the Center for CA Studies at Sac State)
 +
* [http://www.calvoter.org/voter/elections/2012/general/props/prop37.html Proposition 37] at the [[California Voter Foundation]]
  
 
'''Supporters:'''
 
'''Supporters:'''
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{{california}}
 
{{california}}
  
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[[Category:Certified, food and agriculture, 2012]]
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[[Category:Food and agriculture, California]]
 
[[Category:Certified, business regulation, 2012]]
 
[[Category:Certified, business regulation, 2012]]
 
[[Category:Business regulation, California]]
 
[[Category:Business regulation, California]]
 
[[Category:California 2012 ballot measures, certified]]
 
[[Category:California 2012 ballot measures, certified]]
 
{{certinitstat2012}}
 
{{certinitstat2012}}

Revision as of 07:32, 25 March 2014


Proposition 37
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Type:State statute
Referred by:Petition signatures
Topic:Regulations
Status:Defeatedd
Proposition 37, a Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative, was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.[1][2]

If Proposition 37 has been approved, it would have:

  • Required labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if the food is made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
  • Prohibited labeling or advertising such food as "natural."
  • Exempted from this requirement foods that are "certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages."

James Wheaton, who filed the ballot language for the initiative, called it "The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act."

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
California Proposition 37
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No6,442,37151.4%
Yes 6,088,714 48.6%
These final, certified, results are from the California Secretary of State.

Text of measure

See also: Complete text of Proposition 37 and Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California's 2012 ballot propositions

Title

Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute.

Note: The original title given to Proposition 37 by election officials during the petition circulation stage was, "Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute."

Summary

The state's official voter guide included two summaries for each statewide ballot measure. One summary, in bullet-point format, was in the long-form description of each measure. A shorter form of the summary was on the ballot label in the front of the voter guide.

The long-form summary for Proposition 37 said:

  • Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
  • Prohibits labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”
  • Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages.

The short-form (ballot label) summary for Proposition 37 said:

"Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as 'natural.' Provides exemptions."

Neither of the two summaries in the final voter guide was identical to the summary that was originally given to Proposition 37, when its sponsors sought a summary prior to circulating petitions to qualify the measure for the ballot. The summary that was given by election officials to Proposition 37 at that time said:

"Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.” Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statements for California's 2012 ballot propositions

(This is a summary of the initiative's estimated "fiscal impact on state and local government" prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office and the Director of Finance.)

  • Increased annual state costs ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
  • Potential, but likely not significant, costs to state and local governments due to litigation resulting from possible violations of the requirements of this measure. Some of these costs would be supported by court filing fees that the parties involved in each legal case would be required to pay under existing law.

Note: The original fiscal note given to Proposition 37 by election officials during the petition circulation stage was, "Potential increase in state administrative costs of up to one million dollars annually to monitor compliance with the disclosure requirements specified in the measure. Unknown, but potentially significant, costs for the courts, the Attorney General, and district attorneys due to litigation resulting from possible violations to the provisions of this measure."

Support

Supporters included:

The "Yes on 37" logo

The arguments in favor of Proposition 37 in the state's official voter guide were submitted by:

  • Dr. Michelle Pero. Pero is a pediatrician.
  • Rebecca Spector. Spector is the West Coast Director of the Center for Food Safety.
  • Grant Lundberg. Lundberg is the Chief Executive Officer of Lundberg Family Farms.
  • Jamie Court. Court is the president of Consumer Watchdog
  • Jim Cochran. Cochran is the general manager of Swanton Berry Farm.
  • Dr. Marcia Ishil-Eiteman. Ishil-Eiteman is a senior scientist with the Pesticide Action Network.[13]

Arguments in favor

The arguments presented in favor of Proposition 37 in the state's official voter guide included:

  • "You should have the right to know what's in your food."
  • "You'll have the information you need about foods that some physicians and scientists say are linked to allergies and other significant health risks."
  • "Over 40 countries around the world require labels for genetically modified foods."[13]

Donors

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of November 3, 2012
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $8,700,000
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $45,600,000

Joseph Mercola was one of the main financial supporters of Proposition 37. He is an osteopath who lives in suburban Chicago. According to Mercola, "Your health care, your food supply, everything you need to live a healthy life is now being taken away and controlled by a massive industrial complex and corrupt government."[14]

These are the $50,000 and over donors to the "yes" campaign as of Saturday, November 3, 2012:

Donor Amount
Organic Consumers Fund $1,334,865
Mercola Health Resources $1,115,000
Kent Whealy $1,000,000
Nature's Path Foods $660,709
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps $566,438
Mark Squire/Stillonger Trust $440,000
Wehah Farm (Lundberg Family Farms) $251,500
Ali Partovi $219,113
Amy's Kitchen $200,000
Great Foods of America $177,000
Alex Bogusky $100,000
Clif Bar & Co. $100,000
Cropp Cooperative (Organic Valley) $100,000
Annie's, Inc. $50,000
Michael S. Funk $50,000
Nutiva $50,000

Opposition

The "No on Prop 37" logo

Opponents

The arguments against Proposition 37 in the state's official voter guide were submitted by:

  • Dr. Bob Goldberg. Goldberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Jamie Johansson. Johansson is a family farmer in California.
  • Betty Jo Toccoli. Toccoli is the president of the California Small Business Association.
  • Jonnalee Henderson. Henderson is affiliated with the California Farm Bureau Federation.
  • Dr. Henry I. Miller. Miller is a founding director of the Office of Biotechnology of the Food & Drug Administration.
  • Tom Hudson. Hudson is the executive director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee.[15]

Other opponents included:

Arguments against

The arguments in opposition to Proposition 37 presented in the state's official voter guide included:

  • "It's a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, create new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions--without providing any health or safety benefits."
  • "It's full of special interest exemptions."
  • "It authorizes shakedown lawsuits."[15]

Donors

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of November 3, 2012
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $8,700,000
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $45,600,000

As of November 3, 2012, about $45.6 million had been donated to the "No on 37" campaign effort.[17]

These are the $100,000 and over donors to the "no" campaign as of Saturday, November 3, 2012:

Donor Amount
Monsanto $8,112,867
E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. $5,400,000
Pepsico, Inc. $2,145,400
Grocery Manufacturers Association $2,002,000
DOW Agrisciences $2,000,000
Bayer Cropscience $2,000,000
BASF Plant Science $2,000,000
Syngenta Corporation $2,000,000
Kraft Foods Global $1,950,500
Coca-Cola North America $1,700,500
Nestle USA $1,315,600
Conagra Foods $1,176,700
General Mills $1,135,300
Kellogg Company $790,000
Smithfield Foods $683,900
Del Monte Foods $674,100
Campbell's Soup $500,000
Heinz Foods $500,000
Hershey Company $493,900
The J.M. Smucker Company $485,000
Bimbo Bakeries $422,900
Ocean Spray Cranberries $387,100
Mars Food North America $376,650
Council for Biotechnology Information $375,000
Hormel Foods $374,300
Unilever $372,100
Bumble Bee Foods $368,500
Sara Lee $343,600
Kraft Food Group $304,500
Pinnacle Foods $266,100
Dean Foods Company $253,950
Biotechnology Industry Organization $252,000
Bunge North America $248,600
McCormick & Company $248,200
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company $237,664
Abbott Nutrition $234,500
Cargill, Inc. $226,846
Rich Products Corporation $225,537
Flowers Foods $182,000
Dole Packaged Foods $171,261
Knouse Foods Cooperative $164,731

Other food companies who contributed to the "no" campaign (but with checks of less than $150,000) included Sunny Delight Beverages, McCain Foods, Tree Top, Idahoan Foods, Richelieu Foods, Land O'Lakes, Hillshire Brands, Morton Salt, Clorox, Goya de Puerto Rico, Sargento and Godiva Chocolatier.

Editorial opinion

2012 propositions
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June 5
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See also: Endorsements of California ballot measures, 2012

"Yes on 37"

  • The Bay Area Reporter: "Prohibited in many countries (e.g. France), no one really knows the health risks of genetically engineered food. This is a transparency measure, which will allow the consumer to make an informed decision. It would be the first such measure of its kind in the United States."[18]
  • The Marin Independent Journal: "Consumers have a right to know what they are buying and consuming."[19]
  • The North County Times: "Proposition 37 is as common-sense a measure as Californians have had a chance to approve in quite some time."[20]
  • The San Francisco Bay Guardian: "Prop. 37 doesn't seek regulations or limits in any way. It just mandates that GMO food be labeled — the way it is in at least 50 countries worldwide, including all of the European Union, China, Japan and Russia."[21]

"No on 37"

  • The Contra Costa Times: "Proposition 37 purports to be a simple law that requires proper labeling to identify so-called genetically modified food. If that was all it did, we would be for it. Unfortunately, it does much more, and we think voters should send it back to its creators for some modification."[22]
  • The Daily Democrat (Woodland, California): "While we support identification of genetically modified food, this measure is so convoluted as to impose excessive costs on our state's farmers and agricultural industries."[23]
  • The Fresno Bee: "Under Prop. 37, no food that uses genetically engineered ingredients could be called natural. That seems to make certain sense. But it contains wording that could prohibit 'natural' labels on any food that has been pressed or milled. That might include grain, which is milled, or olive oil, which is produced by pressing olives. Proponents say that wasn't their intent. But that's no guarantee against lawsuits."[24]
  • The Long Beach Press Telegram:[25]
  • The Los Angeles Daily News: ."..once you get past the pleasing outside surface of this proposition (more information is good, right?), it reveals a rotten interior that pits the organic food industry against the non-organic food industry, includes special interest exemptions and sets up a system ripe for lawsuit abuse."[26]
  • The Los Angeles Times: "Unfortunately, the initiative to require labeling of those ingredients is sloppily written. It contains language that, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, could be construed by the courts to imply that processed foods could not be labeled as 'natural' even if they weren't genetically engineered. Most of the burden for ensuring that foods are properly labeled would fall not on producers but on retailers, which would have to get written statements from their suppliers verifying that there were no bioengineered ingredients — a paperwork mandate that could make it hard for mom-and-pop groceries to stay in business. Enforcement would largely occur through lawsuits brought by members of the public who suspect grocers of selling unlabeled food, a messy and potentially expensive way to bring about compliance."[27]
  • The Merced Sun-Star: "The initiative would grant authority over labeling to the California Department of Public Health, which already has plenty of work combating food-borne pathogens. For state government, the cost of the additional duty would be relatively small, but the initiative provides no funding to cover the additional work."[28]
  • The Modesto Bee: " This flawed measure would set back the cause of labeling."[29]
  • The Orange County Register: "Voters should be concerned that Prop. 37 would likely spawn waves of lawsuits, with the litigation and enforcement costs passed on to grocers and the consumers. The initiative's language invites abuse."[30]
  • The Press-Enterprise: "Prop. 37 is the wrong approach to addressing the merits or dangers of genetically engineered food. Whatever its intent, this badly written, logically muddled initiative stands to do more mischief than good."[31]
  • The Redding Record Searchlight: "But as written, Proposition 37 would create a fertile new field of litigation. Retailers would be mainly responsible for ensuring the proper labeling of the products they sell, overseen by the state Department of Public Health, but private lawyers and activists would have the power to sue over alleged violations and collect their costs and fees — even if nobody's suffered any damages. More work for creative plaintiff's lawyers and more hassles for businesses? That is not what California needs."[32]
  • The Sacramento Bee: "Proposition 37 is a classic example of an initiative that shouldn't be on the ballot. It is an overreach, is ambiguous, and would open the way for countless lawsuits against retailers who sell food that might lack the proper labeling."[33]
  • The San Bernardino Sun: "The most concerning aspect of Prop. 37 is its method of 'enforcement.' It allows every member of the public to become an enforcer, dropping lawsuits if they only suspect noncompliance but have no evidence...What a nightmare scenario for grocers small and large who, under the terms of the initiative, would have to keep reams of paperwork certifying that all the food they sell is properly labeled as to which might contain genetically modified organisms or not."[34]
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Should genetically modified food be labeled and face more thorough regulation? That is a completely valid question, one that should be the focus of congressional hearings and possible federal legislation. It is not, however, an issue that should be addressed via a weakly crafted state ballot proposition whose leading donor appears to stand to gain from its passage."[35]
  • The San Francisco Chronicle: "Prop. 37 is fraught with vague and problematic provisions that could make it costly for consumers and a legal nightmare for those who grow, process or sell food."[36]
  • The Santa Cruz Sentinel: "Citizens would be empowered to sue grocers they believe to be selling unlabeled GE foods, without needing to prove any damages. Clearly, this provision would create even more lawsuits. And who would this benefit? Lawyers."[38]
  • The Ventura County Star: "Such a law would create mistrust and confusion about the foods that Californians eat."[39]
  • The Victorville Daily Press: "Proposition 37 is, at bottom, another means of adding income to those lawyers — and they seem to be legion — who seek remuneration by bringing suit under what would otherwise be frivolous circumstances."[40]

Polling information

See also: Polls, 2012 ballot measures

A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll was conducted from September 17-23, 2012.[41]

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
September 17-23, 2012 USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times 61% 25% 14% 1,504
October 7-9, 2012 SurveyUSA 39% 30% 31% 700
October 7-10, 2012 California Business Roundtable 48.3% 40.2% 11.5% 830
October 21-28, 2012 California Business Roundtable 39.1% 50.5% 10.5% 2,115

Jayson L. Lusk and Brandon R. McFadden from Oklahoma State University conducted a survey from September 20-27, 2012. The survey collected responses from 822 likely voters and found 76.8% intend to vote in favor of Proposition 37. The study found that possible increases in food prices slightly diminish support. Additionally, the study measured the effect of advertisements used in media campaigns by supporters and opponents of the proposition and found that the opponent advertisement was more effective in swaying likely voters.[42]

Path to the ballot

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See also: California signature requirements
  • James Wheaton submitted a letter requesting a ballot title for Version #11-0071 on November 9, 2011.
  • Wheaton submitted a letter requesting a ballot title for Version #11-0099 on December 20, 2011.
  • The ballot title and ballot summary for Version #11-0071 was issued by the Attorney General of California's office on January 5, 2012. The issue date for Version #11-0099 was February 14, 2012.
  • 504,760 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes.
  • The 150-day circulation deadline for #11-0071 was June 4, 2012, while the 150-day deadline for Version #11-0099 was July 13, 2012.
  • Supporters filed about 970,000 signatures in early May on Version #11-0099.[43]
  • The measure was certified for the November 6, 2012 ballot on June 11, 2012.

Cost of signature collection:

The cost of collecting the signatures to qualify Proposition 37 for the ballot came to $1,463,968.

The signature vendor was Masterson & Wright.

See also: California ballot initiative petition signature costs

Lawsuits

See also: List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2012

Analysis lawsuit

Supporters of Proposition 37 filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court on August 9, 2012. The lawsuit was successful. The purpose of the lawsuit was to force the California Secretary of State to revise the state's "impartial analysis" of Proposition 37 that appeared in the state's official voter guide. The correction asked for by Proposition 37 supporters, and ordered by the court, amounted to the change of one word. Specifically, the court ordered that the word "some" replace the word "all" in this sentence: "Given the way the measure is written, there is a possibility that these restrictions would be interpreted by the courts to apply to some processed foods regardless of whether they are genetically engineered." (In the actual voter guide, the word some will not appear in underlined bold form.)[44]

External links

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Basic information:

Supporters:

Opponents:

Additional reading:

References

  1. Mercury News, "Food labeling, 3-strikes join crowded Nov. ballot," June 11, 2012
  2. Wall Street Journal, "Foes of Genetically Modified Foods Seek Vote on Labeling in California," May 2, 2012
  3. at official OrganicConsumers.Org, "Millions against Monsanto" linking to http://organicconsumersfund.org/label/, 2012.11.05
  4. Wikipedia snapshot reference, shows support, 2012.11.05
  5. official position at Chipotle.com, "(Chipotle says) CA Prop 37: Vote YES to Know," 2012.11.05
  6. official position at WholeFoodsMarket.com, "Whole Foods Market supports California's Proposition 37, 2012.11.05
  7. official position at MothersMarket.com, "(Mother's Market says )Vote Yes on Prop 37," 2012.11.05
  8. an official statement via Facebook.com/Foodinc, "You know the dangers of GMOs," 2012.11.05
  9. an official statement via Facebook.com/Foodinc, "celebrated author & featured star of Food Inc" on CA Prop 37, 2012.11.05
  10. Digital Journal, "Californians set to vote on labeling of genetically modified food," May 3, 2012
  11. Walnut Patch, "Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support," July 30, 2012
  12. [http://www.cagreens.org/elections/propositions/37 Green Party of California, 2012 November Elections, "Why the Green Party Endorses Proposition 37"
  13. 13.0 13.1 Arguments in favor of Proposition 37 submitted to the official voter guide
  14. Sacramento Bee, "Dan Morain: Label this one 'Do Not Touch'," February 19, 2012
  15. 15.0 15.1 Arguments against Proposition 37 in the California Official Voter Guide
  16. Walnut Creek Patch, "California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measures," August 12, 2012
  17. Twin Cities (from the Los Angeles Times), "Campaign to defeat California GMO label law raises $12M," August 14, 2012
  18. Bay Area Reporter, "Editorial: State ballot measures," September 20, 2012
  19. Marin Independent Journal, "Editorial: IJ's endorsements for state Propositions 34-37," October 12, 2012
  20. North County Times, "Yes on 37," August 30, 2012
  21. San Francisco Bay Guardian, "Endorsements 2012: State ballot measures," October 3, 2012
  22. Contra Costa Times, "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions," September 22, 2012
  23. Daily Democrat, "Democrat endorsements: Propositions," October 14, 2012
  24. Fresno Bee, "Prop. 37 is wrong approach to food labeling," October 1, 2012
  25. Long Beach Press Telegram, "Endorsement: No on Prop. 37 -- More information is good but not when it comes with a heavy legal burden on small business," October 9, 2012
  26. Los Angeles Daily News, "Endorsement: No on Prop. 37 -- More information is good but not when it comes with a heavy legal burden on small business," September 27, 2012
  27. Los Angeles Times, "No on Proposition 37," October 4, 2012
  28. Merced Sun-Star, "Our View: Prop. 37 should be rejected," September 25, 2012
  29. [http://www.modbee.com/2012/09/23/2384952/no-on-proposition-37.html Modesto Bee, "No on Proposition 37," September 23, 2012]
  30. Orange County Register, "Editorial: No on Prop. 37 (food labeling)," September 28, 2012
  31. Press-Enterprise, "No on 37," October 1, 2012
  32. Redding Record Searchlight, "Editorial: GMO labeling: More lawsuits, not more safety," September 22, 2012
  33. Sacramento Bee, "Endorsements: Prop. 37 is a sour plan for food labeling," September 16, 2012
  34. San Bernardino Sun, "No on Prop. 37: More information is good, but rampant litigation isn't," October 1, 2012
  35. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Prop. 37 no way to address an important issue," September 28, 2012
  36. San Francisco Chronicle, "Prop. 37 is not answer on food labeling," September 20, 2012
  37. San Jose Mercury News, "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions," September 22, 2012
  38. Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Editorial: No on 37: Flawed measure could prove costly and add to litigation burden," October 6, 2012
  39. Ventura County Star, "Editorial: Food labeling law leaves a bad taste; No on Prop. 37," September 13, 2012
  40. Victorville Daily Press, "Proposition 37 is unnecessary," October 4, 2012
  41. Los Angeles Times, "Poll finds Prop. 37 is likely to pass," September 27, 2012
  42. Voter’s Intentions on Proposition 37 Requiring Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods in California, Jayson L. Lusk and Brandon R. McFadden, October 1, 2011
  43. FireDogLake Elections, "CA: Genetically Modified Food Labeling Initiative Likely to Make the Ballot," May 2, 2012
  44. In the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento, "James Russell Wheaton v. Debra Bowen," order issued August 10, 2012