Biotech proposal to add 'record-keeping costs and additional red tape'
By TIM HEARDEN
SACRAMENTO -- The state's Farm Bureau has reaffirmed its opposition to a statewide ballot initiative that would require labeling of genetically engineered food.
The California Farm Bureau Federation notes Proposition 37 would ban foods with genetically engineered materials unless they carry a label specific to California. It would also prohibit most processed foods from being labeled as "natural," the organization warns.
"We believe Proposition 37 contains provisions that would harm our members," CFBF spokeswoman Megan Alpers told the Capital Press in an email. "It could make California farmers and food businesses less competitive by adding record-keeping costs and additional red tape, and placing farmers and food businesses under the threat of frivolous lawsuits."
Proponents say Proposition 37 would help consumers make informed choices about their food, just as nutrition and allergy information labels already do. They argue their measure wouldn't ban the sale of any foods.
The Farm Bureau contends the measure would require what is essentially a warning label on products that are considered safe.
The organization's statement came as it announced positions Oct. 3 on seven of the Golden State's 11 ballot propositions this fall. The CFBF also:
* Opposes Proposition 31, which would create a two-year budget cycle in the Legislature.
* Opposes Proposition 36, which it believes would make farmers and ranchers more vulnerable to theft by revising the three-strikes law.
* Opposes Proposition 38, a temporary state income tax increase for education.
* Opposes Proposition 39, an income tax increase for multistate businesses.
* Supports Proposition 32, which would ban corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates.
* Supports Proposition 35, which would crack down on human trafficking and sex slavery.
The CFBF takes no position on Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase proposal or measures to revise auto insurance rates, end the death penalty and reaffirm or repeal the 2-year-old redistricting plan.
For the Farm Bureau's printable voter guide, visit www.cfbf.com/voterguide/pdf/General%20Election%20Voter%20Guide%202012.pdf