Target: California Legislators
Goal: Require food that has been genetically modified to be labeled as such.
A wise man once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The man was Hippocrates and he lived a very long time ago, but the message still rings true today, especially at a time when the gap between people and the source of their food has continued to grow. In today’s world, a large industrial complex controls the production and distribution of much of our food and our government mostly allows it to happen. But now, California voters have an opportunity to take control of their food and their health. By way of Proposition 37, consumers can be made aware of what goes into the food they eat: particularly the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a science and technology laboratory sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, genetically modified refers to “a special set of technologies that alter the genetic makeup of organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria.”
Modifications occur for a variety of reasons—enhancing taste, better yield time, more efficient processing, etc.—but the legislation does not seek to eliminate genetically modified food, simply to label it. Regardless of the intent behind the modification, Proposition 37 wants to allow consumers to make well-informed decisions about the food they purchase. Similar to how big restaurant chains must now include calorie counts on their menus (a law which went into effect in 2011), Proposition 37 will not altogether stop the sale of genetically modified food.
Already, 50 countries around the world (that serve food to over 40 percent of the world’s population) have already implemented their own GMO labeling legislation. Despite lacking the amount of funding gathered by the opposition, many high profile endorsers have backed Proposition 37. California now has the opportunity to lead the nation in genetically modified food labeling. Join groups like the California Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety and Organic Consumers Association (among others) and urge California legislators to vote YES on Proposition 37.
Dear California Legislators,
Californians have a right to know what goes into the food they are eating. They also have a right to make well-informed choices about the products that are available to them. Proposition 37, a legislation that would require the labeling of genetically modified food, allows Californians to take control of their health and the food they put in their bodies. By passing this legislation, California will set a precedent for the rest of the country in genetically modified food labeling.
As representatives of California, you are responsible for acting on behalf of the best interest of the people of California. Proposition 37 focuses on the health of citizens and not the pocketbooks of corporations. For these reasons I ask you to consider the health of the California people and pass Proposition 37.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tennessee Government, Newsroom & Media Center