Arran Stephens, CEO and cofounder of Nature’s Path, is an organic food pioneer and icon of sustainability. Here, Stephens shares his thoughts on Prop 37, the initiative to label GMOs, and why the bill remains important despite its rejection by California citizens. As reported by Organic Connections, the magazine of Natural Vitality.
Yesterday, California voted on Proposition 37, an initiative that would require foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled. To the disappointment of many in the natural foods industry, Prop 37 did not pass. However, thought leaders still believe the bill primed GMO labeling for future election seasons, and was a valuable rung in the ladder to nationwide GMO labeling.
Prior to the vote, those not in favor of the legistlation (mostly corporations who profit off of GMOs, such as Monsanto), blasted California voters with TV commercials urging them to vote ‘no’. “The reason why the opposition is so desperate to defeat it is because they know that once their products are labeled, customers will not buy them,” said Arran Stephens, cofounder of Nature’s Path Organic and supporter of the California Right to Know campaign, in an interview with Organic Connections. “Their ads are very deceitful, claiming it’s going to cost Californians a lot more money. This is rubbish; in Europe it hasn’t cost anything more.”
Many countries, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Spain, already require that GMOs be labeled.
“If something is not done now to stop the flood of GMO products—something to deter these huge chemical and seed companies from monopolizing world agriculture—then we will not have an organic movement, and we will not have independent organic farmers,” Arran continues.
Prop 37 may not have passed, but the campaign to label GMOs is far from over.
Read more in Organic Connections.