Blog: California prepares for GM labelling decision
Michelle Russell | 5 November 2012
A decision that could potentially see the implementation of the first labelling requirement for genetically modified (GMO) food in the US is expected tomorrow (6 November).
The California initiative, known as Proposition 37, could frame the growing national movement over labelling foods containing genetically engineered ingredients.
Major food and seed companies, however, may be on the verge of defeating the California ballot, after managing to sway public opinion through an opposition campaign funded by Monsanto Co, DuPont, PepsiCo Inc and others, according to Reuters.
The campaign, unleashed in recent weeks, seems to have managed to turn the tide of public opinion, the publication reported.
A poll from the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy found support has "plummeted" from two-thirds to 39% in the last four weeks, while opposition had surged to almost 51%, Reuters noted.
While some supporters believe success at the ballot box would bring one of the biggest consumer markets and food producers in the country in line with labelling laws in 61 other countries, opponents are making the case that labelling the food implies health dangers that haven't been proved.
Adverts by the recent opposition campaign claim the "badly written" initiative would increase the average family's grocery bills by $400 annually and "hobble" California farmers, Reuters noted.
Mark Kastel, co-director of The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm and food policy research group, recently commented: ""The sad reality is that the Obama administration has done nothing more to make GMO labeling happen than the Bush administration, while accelerating—at the behest of the biotech companies—the review and approval process for an increasing number of genetically modified food crops by the USDA."
The question of whether the use of GMOs in food production is safe has exercised producers, retailers, consumers, campaigners and politicians for more than two decades.
Under certain conditions and contingent on testing, the technology is increasingly being used in food production but campaigners would suggest the questions over whether GM is safe to eat or is safe for the environment, have not yet been comprehensively answered.
A year after union officials alleged Fyffes abused workers on plantations in Central America - and called on the produce giant to be kicked out of the Ethical Trading Initiative forum - the company is...
Much of the chatter about where 3G Capital could look next has centred on packaged food - but might the private-equity fund be about to extend its foodservice empire?...
Headlines that Mead Johnson's board has backed Reckitt Benckiser's takeover bid will no doubt overshadow the other news on the group this week – that it is facing a US lawsuit from a “whistle blower” ...
Kantar Worldpanel issued its monthly supermarket share data in the UK this morning - and the numbers showed a change in the identity of the country's top five food retailers....
- Does Kraft Heinz want to swallow Unilever whole?
- Focus: Nestle CEO plan to balance sales, earnings
- Will Kellogg's DSD exit help it grow in US snacks?
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Is Mondelez's margin target hurting sales?
- Nestle plans restructuring as 2016 profit misses
- Kraft Heinz pursuing Unilever in takeover move
- Kraft Heinz returns to organic growth, ups margins
- Danone eyes efficiency, agility with new structure
- General Mills issues profit warning