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Initiative Requiring Labeling GMO Foods Moves Forward

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Outside the Sacramento County elections office supporters gathered to turn in signatures.

Kelly Quirke with the California Right to Know campaign says most Californians want to know if food contains genetically modified ingredients.

QUIRKE: "Right now we are polling at over 90 percent, positive feedback, people who are for this bill in the state of California." 

Quirke says the group turned in nearly a million signatures, almost double what's required to put the issue up for vote in November. 
QUIRKE: "Californians have a right to know what goes into the food they eat and feed to their families and their children, so we're just saying if a food contains genetically engineered materials, it simply must be labeled."

But Meghan Callahan with the opposition campaign says implementing the law would be a logistical nightmare for farmers and grocers.

CALLAHAN: To have to set up separate distributions, separate labeling processes, and these are going to increase costs, and the people who are going to pay those costs are going to be California consumers." 

Tom Scott with the group California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse says the measure would expose farmers, grocers and other businesses to lawsuits if they happen to carry a product that may not be properly labeled.

SCOTT: "We just see this as creating huge potential for more lawsuits-- and the reason being is that in this initiative, in the enforcement section it allows for any individual to bring suit."

If the measure qualifies, it will appear on the November ballot.

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