Posted February 24, 2014
California state senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) recently introduced a bill requiring labeling for genetically engineered foods, according to an article by Food Navigator-USA, available here.
 
The bill, SB 1381, is a “cleaned up” version of Proposition 37, which was narrowly defeated in November of 2012.  
 
Some say the problems with Proposition 37 surrounded “natural” labeling.  SB 1381 “contains no reference to natural claims, requires plaintiffs to give 60-days of notice before filing any legal action, and would only allow” plaintiffs to “collect attorney’s fees, and not damages,” according to a spokeswoman for the Center for Food Safety. 
 
The bill also clarifies that food manufacturers would be responsible for disclosure and labeling and “explicitly providing protections for farmers and retailers.”
 
Products exempt from labeling requirements would include “certified organic foods, alcohol, medical foods, foods served in restaurants, GE processing aids and enzymes, and meat from animals fed GE feed.”
 
Sen. Evans links GE foods to health problems, according to an article by the Press Democrat, available here.  Evans stated, “For parents, it’s important that they not have to rely on the food industry before deciding what they feed their children…Parents should be able to make their own choices.”
 
The bill was originally planned to apply only to baby food, but her staff announced on Thursday that her bill had been broadened to require GE labeling for all foods used for “human consumption.”

 

For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.