The California Secretary of State’s office has said that the Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods will be on the state’s November ballot. The initiative would be the first law in the United States requiring labeling of a wide range of genetically engineered foods.
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.