If you’re one of those health buffs still buzzing about the “organic” craze then pay attention to a food friendly bill up for vote on the November 6 ballot.
Proposition 37 will instate a clear method for labeling foods which have been genetically engineered or contain trace amounts of genetic material.
Certain food companies propagate their products made of “all natural” flavors in hopes that people will be duped into buying something they think is GE free.
Truth is natural flavors are not organic. They are artificially produced ingredients made to taste and even smell like the real thing. Hence the “natural” quality of the flavor.
With their fingers crossed, supermarkets sell these products to unknowing consumers eager hop on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon.
Regulations by the Department of Public Health will require companies to label foods in accordance with the amount of genetically altered material in them. Currently 40 to 70 percent of produce sold in markets contains GE ingredients.
Supporters of the bill hoping for dramatic change in the way we eat may be disappointed.
A grocery list of foods, including those sold for immediate consumption in restaurants, are exempt. The genetically mutated concoctions of fast food chains will not dissolve away once the law becomes enacted. People will still include Taco Bell as part of a nutritious diet and Snapple will still be made from the best stuff on earth.
Loopholes make the entire proposition smell fishy. According to ads funded by the Monsanto Company, a significant amount of foods made with GE ingredients won’t be labeled. Dairy products, meats, and poultry won’t be regulated but meat in dog food, for example, will.
The exclusion of such products seems odd but according to proponents of the bill these exemptions are designed to protect small farms and businesses from harsh fiscal impacts. Nonetheless it remains a step in the right direction.
This is why I encourage people to vote yes on Prop 37. If passed, consumers can make more informed, healthier decisions about what they choose to eat.