SACRAMENTO, Calif. (PRNewswire) — The California Secretary of State's office has announced that the Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods will be on the state's November ballot. The historic initiative would be the first law in the United States requiring labeling of a wide range of genetically engineered foods.
"We're thrilled that Californians will have the opportunity this November to vote for the right to know what's in our food," said Stacy Malkan, a spokesperson for the California Right to Know campaign. "This initiative is pretty simple. It's about our fundamental right to make informed choices about the food we eat and feed our families."
The initiative requires labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – which are plants or meats that have had their DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration occurs in a laboratory and is not found in nature.
The California Right to Know initiative is backed by a broad array of consumer, health and environmental groups, businesses and farmers.
Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms in the Sacramento Valley, noted that the U.S. is one of the few developed nations that does not provide consumers with simple labels to inform them if their food has been genetically engineered. "More than 40 other countries -- including all of Europe, Japan and even China -- label genetically engineered food. Californians deserve to be able to make informed choices too," Lundberg said.
Susan Lang, a Sacramento mother of two who was one of thousands of volunteers who worked to place the initiative on the ballot, said passing the Right to Know initiative is in the best interests of everyone in the state. "I want to know whether the food I'm buying contains genetically engineered ingredients. All the parents I know want to have this information too," Lang said.
The initiative is widely regarded as the best chance to achieve GMO labeling in the United States. "All eyes are on California, and the voters of this state will support our right to know what's in our food when they vote this November," said Stacy Malkan of the Right to Know campaign.
For more information: www.CARighttoKnow.org.