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California voters say no to labeling genetically engineered food

November 07, 2012|By Marc Lifsher
  • Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of genetically modified foods, went down to defeat in California.
Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of genetically modified… (AFP/Getty )

California voters roundly defeated Proposition 37, the genetically engineered foods labeling initiative, after being subjected to a prolonged barrage of negative television advertisements and criticism from newspaper editorial boards.

With 100% of California precincts reporting, the ballot measure, backed by the organic foods industry and consumer groups, went down, opposed by 53.1% of voters and supported by 46.9%.

"California voters clearly saw through Proposition 37 and rejected higher food costs, more lawsuits and more bureaucracy," said Henry I. Miller, a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution think tank and a key spokesman for the No campaign on its television spots.

RESULTS: California election | National election

Supporters accused the No side of running a deceptive campaign and praised the Proposition 37 effort for educating the public about their right to know about the ingredients in their food.

"Proposition 37 placed the issue of GE [genetically engineered] food labeling front and center and took critical steps forward in heightening the discussion and raising the profile to make labeling and transparency around our food a reality for the nation," said Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a national advocacy group.

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