I'm conservative fiscally and socially. Would probably vote Republican if I was American. But wholeheartedly think healthcare is worth the public cost. Good thing I live on this side of the border - I like it here :)
I'm way way late to this one. But I can't see why anyone would be up in arms (figuratively) about making companies post the nutritional information for the food they are selling. That seems like a smart, sensible law to me. This seems like a great use of government power, too. I don't see any negatives to it whatsoever. I think we need more food regulations than we have. Right now in the U.S. you can call things "natural", or "organic", but there's no one regulating it so it doesn't actually mean anything. You can say eggs are from cage-free chickens, but that can mean the chickens were let out for an hour a day. We need more regulations in this area, not fewer. In Canada (my Canadian family tells me) it's strictly regulated. You can not claim something is organic if it isn't.
Calif. Initiative Will Test Appetite for GMO Food
I am unfamiliar with this particular initiative (beyond what the above article covered), but I do have a growing concern over how many toxins we are (in most cases unknowingly) consuming... and feeding our families. We have endless additives, bovine growth hormones in our meat / dairy products, and more. The genetically modified organisms (GMO) within our crops to help them remain more pest-free than their natural counterparts seems to be in almost everything.
While I respect the idea behind these "improvements" I will admit to a growing concern at what impact this may have on our health in the years to come. If I could, I would love to become more self-sufficient by having our own farm, raising our own food, etc. Granted, I would be lost though in doing so. LOL
Those of you in CA, where do you stand on this initiative? Do you think that the labels will be good for consumers or overwhelming to the grocers? I can see their fear of perhaps missing something and being open to more lawsuits.
I like how Maine seems to approach this topic (according to the article) -- by allowing those products that are truly GMO free to label themselves as such. It places the "burden" on the manufacturer and on the consumer to then be able to make a choice to select foods with that type of label.
I'm against that particular initiative. I don't think it's right to put the burden of making sure products are properly labeled on the seller. And "spot checks" will be done by the Department of Public Health? Yeah, like they don't have enough work to keep their inspectors busy already.
Genetically-modified foods aren't necessarily bad. It's not all super-sized salmon or tomatoes that stay fresh all winter, it's also corn that resists bugs and grapes that resist mildew. I think reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals is a far more important concern from an environmental and public health standpoint. I lived in the central valley in the 1980s and there were pockets of cancer clusters where drainage from fields had contaminated the water supply. Migrant workers developed asthma from the mildewcides sprayed on grapes they pick by hand. My skin itched for days when they sprayed the fields across the street from my apartment complex; bathing didn't help, it didn't go away until that entire layer of skin flaked off. My gut reaction says all those chemicals have to be far worse than whatever they're cross-breeding into those crops.
And how far do you go with it? Something like 95% of all corn in the U.S. is genetically-modified, which means nearly all corn oil, corn starch, high-fructose corn syrup, and all the other corn products that are used in the production of all kinds of other food products is genetically-modified, which means that all those other products will have to be labeled. It's going to be meaningless when you look at all the brands of something and they all have the same GMO warning label.
I'm sorry, I should have said "the retailer" and not "the seller." That's one reason why I don't like this prop as written. How is a grocery store supposed to know if the product it receives is properly labeled or not? My corner liquor store buys stuff in bulk at Costco to resell, so which of them would be liable for a product being mislabeled? And to what degree would they be liable? This prop is unclear about what the consequences are. It adds the words "all reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action" in addition to reasonable attorney's fees that can be awarded upon a successful claim of wrongful labeling. This prop also says, "the person shall not be required to allege facts necessary to show... unique or special individual injury or damages" and that, "the consumer bringing the action need not establish any specific damage from, or prove any reliance on, the alleged violation." So we're setting up a system where you can sue someone for selling a product that may or may not have genetically-engineered food in it and all you have to prove is that the label didn't say it, and you could get attorney's fees and all kinds of other costs, maybe to cover the investigative trip you took to Napa that one lovely weekend? That's just a Pandora's Box of costly trouble waiting to be opened.
I actually fully support the *idea* behind this proposition, that people should know what's in their food; I just think this is a very badly written way to try to do that. A better law would be much more clear on accountability, and would put limits on the recoverable costs since the purpose of the law is supposed to be to get proper labeling; we shouldn't punish a retailer simply for putting something on its shelf.