Putting the paper in direct opposition to Alice Waters, Mario Batali, and Michael Pollan, among other national chefs and food policy experts, The L.A. Times is recommending readers vote “No” on Proposition 37, the proposal that would require genetically engineered ingredients to be clearly labeled as such, allowing customers to be informed when they’re eating mutant ingredients and keeping producers from using words like “natural” on their packaging. In yesterday’s Opinion section, the Times joined Monsanto and the other agribusiness giants who are outspending the bill’s supporters by nearly $34,000,000 by taking a stand against Prop. 37. What is the paper’s reasoning?
The newspaper’s position is that, “This initiative…is so sloppily written that it could impose severe burdens on grocers while misleading consumers because of various loopholes.”
This belief was largely spurred by a UC Davis study that concluded just as much, though today an L.A. Times reporter seems to slap down the claims that it would raise shoppers’ or producers’ costs significantly, while still convinced the law’s passing would lead to greater customer confusion. Elsewhere, many have argued the UC Davis study was funded by Monsanto itself.
Currently 61 other countries have such a law in place to allow consumers to know what’s potentially hiding in their food and the issue portends to be a big one in the world of food both at home and through the country. Explore the arguments for and against the “Right to Know” proposal for yourself and please let us know which side you stand on in our comments.