SACRAMENTO -- Supporters of Proposition 37, the genetically engineered food labeling initiative, are calling their defeat at the polls a surmountable setback.
They're vowing to take the fight for consumers' right to know what's in their food to an initiative campaign in Washington state next year and Oregon the year after that. Proponents, a coalition of organic farmers, retailers and consumer groups, also plan to try again to pass legislation in Vermont and Connecticut and pressure the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a labeling regulation.
The ballot measure won 4.2 million votes, but they amounted to just 46.9% of the vote. The No side's tally was 53.1%. The initiative won most of the coastal counties, including Los Angeles County, but lost big in the Central Valley and other rural parts of California.
"It was a narrow loss for Proposition 37 but a huge win for the movement for transparency and fairness in our food system," said campaign spokeswoman Stacy Malkan.