Mandatory Labeling of GMO Foods Up to Californians

GMO protestors

Efforts to bring awareness to the reasons why genetically modified foods should be labeled are underway in a number of different campaigns across the U.S. with targets all set to a potential California ballot initiative in 2012 that could enforce statewide mandatory labeling on all foods containing GMOs.

The organization LabelGMOs has started its signature gathering initiative asking California residents to pledge to gather as many signatures as possible toward reaching the goal of the 504,760 needed in just 150 days in order to get the initiative on the 2012 ballot.

Another campaign, Just Label It, is also underway petitioning the FDA to enact mandatory labels on all genetically modified foods. Submitted in September, the FDA will take public comments on the petition, which they consider carefully on such issues.

Hundreds of concerned citizens are currently marching from New York City to Washington D.C. as part of the two-week Right2Know protest to demand labeling of all genetically modified foods. With stops and daily events along the way, the California Ballot Initiative is a key talking point as well during the 313-mile walk.

Nearly 80 percent of all processed food sold in the U.S. contain genetically modified ingredients, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture; 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of cotton and canola planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered.

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Image: MillionsAgainstMonsanto

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.