March for YES on Prop 37 in Santa Cruz

Laura O'Rourke, 28.11.2012

According to the Official Information Guide from the California Secretary of State, “Prop 37 Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.” Provides exemptions. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Additional, but likely not significant, governmental costs to address violations under the measure”. In March of 2012, many people got together in Santa Cruz to raise awareness about this proposition. They sang and marched down Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz in hopes that people would see their signs and hear them chanting and be encourage to vote the same way as them.

By voting Yes on Prop 37 according to the Official Information Guide from the California Secretary of State, you are voting in hopes that “Genetically engineered foods sold in California would have to be specifically labeled as being genetically engineered”. Genetically engineered food means that, “Food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature”. These people in Santa Cruz along with many other people in California are hoping that this proposition gets passed so that they are aware of what they are putting into their bodies.
According to the official “California Right to Know” Facebook page, “Studies show that genetically engineering food can create new, unintended toxicants and increase allergens, and other health problems. Experts around the world agree that by labeling genetically engineered food, we can help identify any adverse health reactions that these foods may cause”. In the world we live in today, there are already so many health concerns that we have to think about while living out our daily lives. Whether it be the water we are drinking, how much sun we are getting, or even the medicines we are taking, there is always a fear that these things have the potential to cause some deadly or harmful virus or disease. If there could be such a simple thing as food in the grocery stores and retail stores being labeled that they are genetically modified, it could prevent the people who believe these foods have toxins in them or are harmful, from putting them into their bodies without knowing it.
Monsanto Company, which is an agricultural company, has had multiple issues with people saying that their crops are genetically modified (genetically engineered) and this proposition involves them greatly. As one activist said, “They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.” Food is an essential part to living and we can’t live with the risk that although we are eating foods which we believe to be good for our bodies, they are actually harmful to us.
Another activist said, “I voted yes, and I'm praying Californians will have enough sense to pass this measure. Knowing whether there are GMOs in our food is not too much to ask, and Monsanto execs don't eat their own products”. Although it may not be the view of every person in California because they feel money should be going to other things, there are people who are very passionate about this issue and are fighting for it. Although this particular march took place in Santa Cruz, this is a social movement that people all over California are fighting for in order to better our state.
Some believe that genetically engineered food isn’t healthy for the human body or isn’t safe, and the people of Santa Cruz are trying to encourage others to look into this issue in hopes that they will feel it is a serious issue as well. Although this will cost our state money as well as the government, if passed, it will hopefully allow people to have healthier lives and live longer. It is important in order for generations to come to know what they are putting into their bodies and be as healthy as they can be in order for California to prosper.

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