Late last year, Care2 reported that a California organization called LabelGMOs had launched an initiative that would finally put the issue of mandatory GMO labeling where it belongs, in the hands of American voters.
A mere eight months and over 900,000 signatures later, it’s official: Early this week California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced that the ”California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” will be on the state ballot in November. The initiative only needed 504,760 verified signatures to qualify.
The measure [PDF] requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways, and prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.”
“We believe our right to know what we are buying and feeding ourselves and our kids supersedes corporate rights to a nontransparent profit,” reads a statement on the LabelGMO’s website. “Just 22 weeks from today, we will go to the polls. We are in the fight of our lives while all the world watches what we do here.”
Indeed, the world will be watching. Unlike its European counterparts, which have been hesitant to open their fields to the likes of Monsanto, and in some cases banned them altogether, the U.S. has allowed GMOs to infiltrate the national food system without so much as a PSA to warn consumers.
Despite polls showing the majority of American citizens want to know whether food contains GMOs before they buy it. The FDA has continually resisted efforts that would require manufacturers to disclose the presence of GMOs in their products.
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