You stand in the aisle of your local grocery store to read the labels of foods you’re buying.
You think you know what you’re putting in your cart, paying money for and feeding to your family.
But do you really?
The people behind the It’s Our Right to Know campaign say no and are trying to get a California initiative on the November ballot that would force companies to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
GMOs are organisms that have been manipulated in a laboratory to contain foreign genes such as bacteria, viruses, human genes and pesticides.
“The GMO labeling initiative is a grassroots effort to try and get genetically engineered organisms in our food labeled so that we have choices as to whether or not we eat it,” says Stacey Hall, the Southern California director for LabelGMOs.org, the group behind the labeling initiative.
“Right now it’s not labeled in the United States. It’s labeled in almost 40-plus other countries including all of Europe, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil – they require labeling. They won’t let us do it here, so we are taking matters into our own hands and trying to create the right to choose what we feed our families and educate the public so the public can make educated decisions, basically.”
To get the initiative on California’s ballot, the campaign needs to obtain 560,000 qualifying signatures by April 22 – that’s the required 5 percent of the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election.
As of a few weeks ago, the group had more than 500,000 signatures, but their real goal is to obtain 850,000 to make up for any signatures the state might not recognize as qualifying.