Prop 27 Defeated in California

A proposed California measure that would have required stores to label genetically modified food products has been defeated in the election, leaving farmers ecstatic and food safety advocates considering their next move forward.

The measure, which has been proposed federally and on the state level in the past, would require food producers to label all foods containing genetically modified products. Supporters of the proposition had argued that it would serve to better inform consumers, while opponents claimed it would unnecessarily burden producers and would only serve to disseminate misleading propaganda.

The food fight quickly morphed into a symbolic battle between organic and small farmers against major agribusinesses like Monsanto. This narrative was aided by the lopsided spending associated with the campaign (with $46 million spent in opposition to Proposition 27 compared to $9 million in support).

The defeat of the proposition, opponents say, will serve to check future food activists and discourage the creation of a national movement. Food safety advocates has indeed hoped that Prop 27 could become the catalyst for the creation of a more coherent political group dedicated to protecting American food products. With the defeat of the proposition, it is unclear whether this sort of group still has a future.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer