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The California Right to Know Campaign that would require labeling of genetically modified foods was successful in collecting nearly a million signatures from California voters who want the right to know what’s in their food. So, what happens then if Californians opt for GMO labeling in November and the measure passes? How will it affect the rest of the country, and the world?

  1. First California, Your State Next?: Other states will be empowered to follow suit, just like with indoor smoking bans, shark fin bans and plastic bag bans. A good idea is a good idea, and open-minded Americans will want the same transparency in their states, too.

  2. Reality Check: No more would GMOs simply be these mysterious science experiments that consumers could just shrug off and assume they’re not eating. The reality of knowing what’s in our food would force awareness and participation in our food system that will benefit our own health as well as our farms and environment.

  3. Closer to a True ‘Natural’ Definition: If the voters approve the measure, not only would GMOs have to be clearly labeled, but any food labeled ‘natural’ (or any variation of the word) that contains genetically modified ingredients would be considered “misbranded” and have to make changes.

  4. Boon for Organics: By definition, organic food can contain no genetically modified ingredients. With GMOs clearly labeled, more consumers concerned about the safety of GMOs will opt for organic, supporting organic farmers and the growth of the industry.

  5. Boon for Smaller Companies/Farmers: GMOs are manufactured and supported by large multinational corporations who dominate our food supply and that of the world. Recognizing this by identifying GMO ingredients would send consumers toward smaller, family-owned and operated businesses.

  6. World Leader: Most of the developed world already requires labeling of genetically modified foods. By joining these countries we can step into the role of a true world leader when it comes to supporting our citizens’ rights to know what’s in their food and why GMOs are not the best choice.

  7. Decrease Spending on Healthcare: Enough data exists for there to be concern over the health risks of consuming GMOs. If Californians are aware of the risks involved and choose non-GMO food instead, we could see common health problems decrease and subsequent drops in healthcare costs and free up spending for other important items.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Resources:

http://www.labelgmos.org

http://foodidentityblog.com/2012/05/08/california-gmo-labeling-law-headed-to-ballot-what-does-it-mean/

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/Californian-GMO-labeling-What-would-it-mean-for-food-companies/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&;utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily&c=tpoHCHKdphD0d11YfEJfvQ%3D%3D

Image: katerha