California voters say no to labeling genetically engineered food
California voters roundly defeated Proposition 37, the genetically engineered foods labeling initiative, after being subjected to a prolonged barrage of negative television advertisements and criticism from newspaper editorial boards.
With 100% of California precincts reporting, the ballot measure, backed by the organic foods industry and consumer groups, went down, opposed by 53.1% of voters and supported by 46.9%.
“California voters clearly saw through Proposition 37 and rejected higher food costs, more lawsuits and more bureaucracy,” said Henry I. Miller, a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution think tank and a key spokesman for the No campaign on its television spots.
Supporters accused the No side of running a deceptive campaign and praised the Proposition 37 effort for educating the public about their right to know about the ingredients in their food.
“Proposition 37 placed the issue of GE [genetically engineered] food labeling front and center and took critical steps forward in heightening the discussion and raising the profile to make labeling and transparency around our food a reality for the nation,” said Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a national advocacy group.
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