Dear Senator Evans,
The Culver City Democratic Club has been active in local, state and national politics since 1953. We are pleased to inform you that we have endorsed SB1381. We are located in Western Los Angeles County and our club represent the Democratic voice in Culver City. Our website is culvercitydemocraticclub.com/.
The people of California have the right to know how our food is produced and should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods that are genetically engineered (GE). If enacted into law, SB 1381 would provide people with critical information to make informed choices by requiring GE foods sold in California to be labeled as such. Californians would join people around the world, people who have the ability to chose to avoid GE foods for environmental, health, economic, religious, and ethical reasons.
California has the opportunity to lead the nation on this issue. More than 64 other countries have enacted laws specifically focused on overseeing genetically engineered crops and foods, or their labeling. As you know, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. In its absence, states have a duty to their people, environment, and agricultural economy to enact this right.
There is overwhelming public support for this common sense solution. Polls both before and after the November 2012 elections for Proposition 37 showed that 67% of Californians supported California having its own GE food labeling law. In total, more than 6 million Californians voted in favor of Prop 37. And, immediate post-election polling showed 21% of all voters who voted against Prop 37 reported they actually support labeling of GE foods.
The opposition spent more than $45 million on advertising and other oppositional tactics to confuse voters, resulting in a narrow victory. Despite this, polls today continue to indicate that the majority of Californians want the labeling of GE foods. Further, because there is yet no mandatory labeling of GE foods, health professionals have no way of tracking if these foods are causing adverse health effects. SB 1381 would help provide researchers with the beginnings of a means to track ingestion of GE foods in order to determine if there are adverse health effects.
Labeling genetically engineered food is about transparency and empowering people. With clear labels, we can make our own informed decisions.