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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Indymedia
Monsanto Buys the SF Chron, LA Times, SC Sentinel & San Jose Merc to Block GMO Labels
One of the most transparently corrupt actions by these garbage newspaper editors.
"No on 37"
The Contra Costa Times: "Proposition 37 purports to be a simple law that requires proper labeling to identify so-called genetically modified food. If that was all it did, we would be for it. Unfortunately, it does much more, and we think voters should send it back to its creators for some modification."
The Daily Democrat (Woodland, California): "While we support identification of genetically modified food, this measure is so convoluted as to impose excessive costs on our state's farmers and agricultural industries."
The Fresno Bee: "Under Prop. 37, no food that uses genetically engineered ingredients could be called natural. That seems to make certain sense. But it contains wording that could prohibit 'natural' labels on any food that that has been pressed or milled. That might include grain, which is milled, or olive oil, which is produced by pressing olives. Proponents say that wasn't their intent. But that's no guarantee against lawsuits."
The Long Beach Press Telegram: 
The Los Angeles Daily News: "...once you get past the pleasing outside surface of this proposition (more information is good, right?), it reveals a rotten interior that pits the organic food industry against the non-organic food industry, includes special interest exemptions and sets up a system ripe for lawsuit abuse."
The Los Angeles Times: "Unfortunately, the initiative to require labeling of those ingredients is sloppily written. It contains language that, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, could be construed by the courts to imply that processed foods could not be labeled as 'natural' even if they weren't genetically engineered. Most of the burden for ensuring that foods are properly labeled would fall not on producers but on retailers, which would have to get written statements from their suppliers verifying that there were no bioengineered ingredients — a paperwork mandate that could make it hard for mom-and-pop groceries to stay in business. Enforcement would largely occur through lawsuits brought by members of the public who suspect grocers of selling unlabeled food, a messy and potentially expensive way to bring about compliance."
The Merced Sun-Star: "The initiative would grant authority over labeling to the California Department of Public Health, which already has plenty of work combating food-borne pathogens. For state government, the cost of the additional duty would be relatively small, but the initiative provides no funding to cover the additional work."
The Modesto Bee: " This flawed measure would set back the cause of labeling."
The Orange County Register: "Voters should be concerned that Prop. 37 would likely spawn waves of lawsuits, with the litigation and enforcement costs passed on to grocers and the consumers. The initiative's language invites abuse."
The Press-Enterprise: "Prop. 37 is the wrong approach to addressing the merits or dangers of genetically engineered food. Whatever its intent, this badly written, logically muddled initiative stands to do more mischief than good."
The Redding Record Searchlight: "But as written, Proposition 37 would create a fertile new field of litigation. Retailers would be mainly responsible for ensuring the proper labeling of the products they sell, overseen by the state Department of Public Health, but private lawyers and activists would have the power to sue over alleged violations and collect their costs and fees — even if nobody's suffered any damages. More work for creative plaintiff's lawyers and more hassles for businesses? That is not what California needs."
The Sacramento Bee: "Proposition 37 is a classic example of an initiative that shouldn't be on the ballot. It is an overreach, is ambiguous, and would open the way for countless lawsuits against retailers who sell food that might lack the proper labeling."
The San Bernardino Sun: "The most concerning aspect of Prop. 37 is its method of 'enforcement.' It allows every member of the public to become an enforcer, dropping lawsuits if they only suspect noncompliance but have no evidence...What a nightmare scenario for grocers small and large who, under the terms of the initiative, would have to keep reams of paperwork certifying that all the food they sell is properly labeled as to which might contain genetically modified organisms or not."
The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Should genetically modified food be labeled and face more thorough regulation? That is a completely valid question, one that should be the focus of congressional hearings and possible federal legislation. It is not, however, an issue that should be addressed via a weakly crafted state ballot proposition whose leading donor appears to stand to gain from its passage."
The San Francisco Chronicle: "Prop. 37 is fraught with vague and problematic provisions that could make it costly for consumers and a legal nightmare for those who grow, process or sell food."
The San Jose Mercury News
The Santa Cruz Sentinel: "Citizens would be empowered to sue grocers they believe to be selling unlabeled GE foods, without needing to prove any damages. Clearly, this provision would create even more lawsuits. And who would this benefit? Lawyers."
The Ventura County Star: "Such a law would create mistrust and confusion about the foods that Californians eat."
The Victorville Daily Press: "Proposition 37 is, at bottom, another means of adding income to those lawyers — and they seem to be legion — who seek remuneration by bringing suit under what would otherwise be frivolous circumstances."
"Yes on 37"
The Bay Area Reporter: "Prohibited in many countries (e.g. France), no one really knows the health risks of genetically engineered food. This is a transparency measure, which will allow the consumer to make an informed decision. It would be the first such measure of its kind in the United States."
The Marin Independent Journal: "Consumers have a right to know what they are buying and consuming."
The North County Times: "Proposition 37 is as common-sense a measure as Californians have had a chance to approve in quite some time."
The San Francisco Bay Guardian: "Prop. 37 doesn't seek regulations or limits in any way. It just mandates that GMO food be labeled — the way it is in at least 50 countries worldwide, including all of the European Union, China, Japan and Russia."