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Food Fight: Debating Prop 37, California's Landmark Initiative to Label GMO Food

Posted: 10/24/2012 12:52 pm

On Election Day, California voters will decide on Proposition 37, which would make their state the first in the nation to require the labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Democracy Now! hosts a 25-minute debate on Prop 37
with two guests: Stacy Malkan, a longtime advocate for environmental health and spokesperson for the "Yes on 37 California Right to Know" campaign; and David Zilberman, professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Center for Sustainable Resource Development.

The California Department of Public Health would be responsible for labeling everything from baby formula and instant coffee, to granola, canned soups and soy milk. Many major corporations, including Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Pepsi and Coke are spending millions fighting the measure, which stands to impact labeling practices across the country.

Democracy Now! also discusses Prop 37 with best-selling author Michael Pollan, who says that the California initiative could galvanize the growing local food movements across the United States. He explains how major corporations have a strangle-hold on state politicians and Congress to prevent the topic of GMOs from being debated on a national level.

Pollan is the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism. He's written several books about food, including "The Botany of Desire," "The Omnivore's Dilemma," "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto," "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual," and the forthcoming, "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation."

Visit democracynow.org to read the complete transcripts of these interviews.

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