Controversial Proposition 37 was voted down this week by Californians. This proposition would have required food and beverage manufacturers inform to consumers of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the product’s label.
It was a close vote – some 52.9% were against, 47.1% for it, indicating widespread support for labeling and also a growing awareness and interest in the origins and impacts of our food system.
According to the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), consumer beliefs affected the outcome, namely that:
- some consumers say “I don’t understand it so I don’t care”
- some consumers fear that labeling GMOs would increase the cost of food
- some consumers believe that GMOs are necessary to feed the world’s population.
Given these numbers, we can expect a rise in popularity of the “Contains no GMO’s” variety of claims and labels…or on the flipside, of the “contains GMO” grassroots-guerrilla kind (see Label It Yourself).