General Question

flo's avatar

Why did people vote for no knowledge, as some people have voted no, to prop 37?

Asked by flo (7369 points ) November 16th, 2012

How can people vote for no knowledge? Has there been any other case where people voted for no/or less knowledge? How can this happen in America?
Edited to add:
here(2012) is what prop 37 is about.

here a random article and comments about the defeat.

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28 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I don’t live in CA and offer no opinion, but I did a short search on wiki and found this:

According to the California Attorney General, the measure would “increase annual state costs ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods”. It would also incur “Potential, but likely not significant, costs to state and local governments due to litigation resulting from possible violations of the requirements of this measure. Some of these costs would be supported by court filing fees that the parties involved in each legal case would be required to pay under existing law.”[3]

Opponents argued that “Prop. 37 is a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme, full of special-interest exemptions and loopholes. Prop. 37 would: create new government bureaucracy costing taxpayers millions, authorize expensive shakedown lawsuits against farmers and small businesses, and increase family grocery bills by hundreds of dollars per year.”[4]

Was there ever any mention of who was going to pay for the inspectors? Would CA require new labels for foods that were sold in other states? Would food grown or manufactured in other states be required to have CA labels? Who will pay for that?

jerv's avatar

WTF is Proposition 37? Is anything like Proposition 74?

When you just go by numbers like that, even people who live in the area where that proposition matters, many voters don’t know what the numbers mean, so it’s entirely possible that they voted entirely at random.

Now that I have that off of my chest, note that there are a lot of people who really don’t care what they put in their mouths, and feel that ignorance is bliss. Notice the rise in obesity? People would eat horseshit laced with arsenic if it tasted good. Aside from things that are immediately life-threatening (like peanuts or shellfish), most people are intentionally blind when it comes to ingredient lists.

Jussange's avatar

Exempted from this requirement foods that are “certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages.”

Also the wording of the Proposition allows for some loop holes that make for a lawyer’s wet dream (lawsuits everywhere! Last thing California needs right now).

Sometimes you have to be able to tell the difference between a foot in the doorway and a boulder in the path.

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_Whitetigress's avatar

I want to know, how in the world does labeling foods (a necessity to exist) cost a tax payer anything in the first place? As far as I’m concerned the manufacturers should be paying this out of their own pockets.

Who pays for them to put nutrition labels on right now? Do we tax payers? It doesn’t make sense that they already have nutrition labels, and they can’t stamp three simple letters and a small tiny logo indicating, GMO Food.

And it would open up a new profession in the health industry, GMO foods inspectors. I’m wondering a lot at this point. Haha.

Why would food prices even go up? Is it because consumers would be wary of labels that state it is a GMO product? Hmmm I wonder why that consumer would want to avoid it! Also I wonder if GMO foods are cheaper to make?

You asked: How can this happen in America?

Through fear and speculation is my answer. All the anti 37 campaign ads stated tax dollars could go towards other public health departments, and that it would save Californians money. So the strategy of telling other American’s that PRO GMO advocates don’t know what they are talking about really worked.

Unbroken's avatar

Not a Californian.

But I followed this one closely.

@LuckyGuy Monsanto contributed 8 million to the no side, there was conagra sargento pepsi and a couple other companies that contributed as well, all of these companies contributed at least 1 million. So they spent all that money fighting legislature when they could have used it to create labels, to inform, to set in place a system, even voluntarily why?

Also I believe the number was 11 European countries have such labeling in place. This is not a novel or groundbreaking idea, they know how to make the system work they are familair with it, when it comes to other states they can just use the same system, I think the activists for this proposition are rational enough to not make this a state issue squabbling over labeling methods. If this wasn’t the case they have the option of making the FDA regulate it.

Jussange's avatar

@_Whitetigress

manufacturers should be paying this out of their own pockets.

Eh, could give rise to out of state manufacturers to go “Eh, screw CA.”

GMO foods inspectors

Monsanto will love this (unless someone happens to crack down on your FDA for being bedfellows with Monsanto)

Why would food prices even go up? Is it because consumers would be wary of labels that state it is a GMO product? Hmmm I wonder why that consumer would want to avoid it! Also I wonder if GMO foods are cheaper to make?

The big issue is not so much labeling scare or paying for labeling so much as corporations finding the lovely loopholes and the corporations that are more or less exempt from labeling their products as GMO. I absolutely agree with Pro-Californians/Americans that the initiative was in the right direction but a poorly worded proposition is bound to bring more headaches and wallet thinning than it’s worth.

nikipedia's avatar

I am a Californian who voted no on 37. I think it is not an appropriate use of the proposition system; in fact most of the propositions are not an appropriate use, so my default vote is “no” unless there is a very convincing reason to vote otherwise.

I see no reason to label genetically modified food. It has been shown time and time again to be completely safe. In addition to this, it is unclear from the wording of the bill what should and should not count. It was bad legislation and was rightfully voted down in my opinion.

Also, the people who would be hurt the most by a system like this are the small farmers who do not have enormous factories and assembly lines to create their food. The farmers I buy my food from at the farmer’s market can keep selling me whatever they’ve been selling me; it seems to be working out great so far.

Sunny2's avatar

Prop 37 was poorly written as are most of the propositions originated by citizen groups. Those foods exempted and those that are included to be labeled made no sense. A no vote indicated a more thorough knowledge of the details of the proposed law. If it was reorganized to have a more logical organization of which items are to be labeled and which not, it could pass.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@nikipedia You stated “Also, the people who would be hurt the most by a system like this are the small farmers who do not have enormous factories and assembly lines to create their food. ”

…? Am I not understanding something here? Since when did farmers have to produce GMO only crops? [honest question not trying to be volatile or anything]

cazzie's avatar

Monsanto sucks. Here in-lies the problem. Most farmers have no CHOICE but to grow GMO crops. Also, what constitutes GMO is vague and this ‘Prop 37’ does nothing to stop the real problem, which is unsustainable food production, harvest techniques and ‘ownership’ of natural organisms and plants.

The canola oil you use to fry your what-ever in would have to be labeled GMO, even though there has been NO trouble with GMO canola oil for years and years and years. Thank you, Canada. However, pesticides and herbicides used in the mechanised harvesting of cotton has been devastating.

The crap fed to chickens and cows and pigs in the forms of growth hormones and antibiotics isn’t required to be labeled (I think the hormone for milk production was sometime in the last 15 years perhaps in the US or just some States?)

All I can suggest is pick your food-fights.

Prop 37 wasn’t ‘knowledge’. it was more like ‘mis-information’ and a bait and switch tactic to make it look like something was being done, when, in reality, the real problems go ignored. Sort of like when a magician misdirects your eye, so he can pull a hare out of his arse.

I don’t live in California, but when I read about this, those were my some of my enraged thoughts. *end rant.

LuckyGuy's avatar

With more thought I have two big questions about this:
1) How do we define a GMO product? Where do we draw the line? Mankind has been selecting and altering genes for thousand of years by cross pollinating and picking crops that they enjoyed eating or grew well in their climate. Do we say “Anything that came over on the Ark is OK”? Or anything made before the discovery of DNA?
The farmers in this area use a corn seed that is modified to be “Round up ready” Apparently this enables a farmer to spray the field with herbicide that kills the weeds but does not kill the corn plant. That increases yield and reduces cost so we can buy corn at the shamefully low price of $2–4 per bushel. Would that be GMO? What about hybrid fruits? Or the latest variety of apple or the pears? They didn’t come over on the ark. Somebody worked at the local ag. school trying different combinations of root stock and pollination to make that variety – one that is more insect resistant, tastes better and lasts longer. (I love Fuji apples by the way.)
OK assuming we have that definition.
2) How will we make sure the food producers label their foods correctly? It costs money to genetically test food. Nutritional info is easy: fat content, protein, carbs. That lab test is only ~$20. But what about testing genetics? Maury (Who da’ baby daddy?) Povich probably has an in with a DNA company but that is only for humans. Every type of food product would need a tester. How would that be enforced? The manufacturer can say anything with the knowledge that the government would never or could never check. False information is worse than no information.

The only people I see benefiting from this are the lawyers who were no doubt lining up to buy genetic testing equipment so they could slap a class action suit on Kellogs (or any other big pocket food corporation) for violating the law in some way.
They would be the true winners.

dabbler's avatar

Someone I know in CA put it this way :
“The expected results would have been that everything would have been given a generic label, and there would be no real differentiation between something that has been genetically spliced versus forced cross pollination. Both could legally be challenged as Genetically Modified.”

If that’s the case there is some merit to defeating it.
On the other hand the fellow is a knee-jerk neo-con and is usually rabidly misinformed, so I’m not sure this is correct.

nikipedia's avatar

@_Whitetigress, Certainly farmers can choose not to use genetically modified crops, but it would significantly lower their yield and raise their costs so that would be a terrible business decision.

Unbroken's avatar

@dabbler and @LuckyGuy. Actually the article above in the question covers the difference in GE and hybridized food.

Essentially anything that has to be created in a lab is GE hybridization a process that has been around forever, can be done in the field would not require labeling.

So yes the round up ready corn (that has created a superweed not killed by round up) is genetically engineered. By the way the only way to get rid of the super weed is strip till and lie fallow, water run off problems, back to inefficient and expensive old methods. Oh yeah and it’s modified from Agent Orange but it’s completely safe, at least since the testing has never been published & fda doesn’t require it, (we hope it is). Of course monsanto’s solution use a heavier defolient.
Honey crisp apple are not GE.

Actually I do fairly well at avoiding GMO’s altogther. Though is means I can’t eat certain items. As a Celiac with intolerance to yeast, eggs, all types of dairy and garlic and coconut, this is just the next step. When I have to buy items that are packaged I look at the ingredients, if has any form of corn, beets, soy, I look for a Non GMO project label or certified non GMO if it isn’t I put it back down. Unfortunately it means I do w/o a lot of things, like soy ice cream or yogurt. But I feel much better and my lab results are always improving until I slip off the wagon.

My hope was that this type of legislation would increase natural food production and thus have more options at food that doesn’t make me sick.

cazzie's avatar

@rosehips I hope that there is soon some type of legislation in the US that will increase natural food production as well. Celiacs is a horrible disease and I hope too, and soon, for some real progress in the treatment and cure of it.

Unbroken's avatar

@cazzie Thanks, though celiacs isn’t that bad, In fact should there ever be medicine to enable to eat gluten again I don’t think I would take it, (sure I say that now) I have become much more in tune with my body and much healthier.
Sure I resent that I don’t have a choice and the effects it’s had on me physically, but thats been done.
As to the meat and milk thing I feel yah. I don’t eat chicken unless it’s local now and rarely eat any beef, it helps I live in AK, moose, caribou, reindeer, bison and lamb, oh my. I was watching Genetic Roulette, and read a few follow up articles, and the stuff is making the animals sick.
But Almond Silk, Hemp and Rice milk taste great. (hemp is the worst but probably the healthiest.)
Did you hear Monsanto plans to gentically alter cow milk to make it close to human milk? Gross!

cazzie's avatar

@rosehips I had not heard that about Monsanto, no. It sounds gross, but I can understand the underlying logic. The problem is that they are screwing around with proteins, sugars, fats… someone needs to tell them to leave it the hell alone and we aren’t going to buy their shit any more. Unfortunately, America is losing its battle with science education and their population is opening wide for the shit they are being fed.

flo's avatar

It costs money to genetically test food.”
A lot things cost money at the front end. Hand over fist is the amount of money they make later on. So, I can’t feel bad for the corporations.

“False information is worse than no information.”
But false information (if it is really false) is at least out there to be exposed as false. There is no excuse for hiding information.

“Prop 37 wasn’t ‘knowledge’. it was more like ‘mis-information’ and a bait and switch tactic to make it look like something was being done, when, in reality, the real problems go ignored. Sort of like when a magician misdirects your eye, so he can pull a hare out of his arse.” To counter that:
“Also I believe the number was 11 European countries have such labeling in place. This is not a novel or groundbreaking idea, they know how to make the system work they are familair with it, when it comes to other states they can just use the same system, ..”

“If it was reorganized to have a more logical organization of which items are to be labeled and which not, it could pass.” Right.

flo's avatar

Maybe this random article is of some use.

Kardamom's avatar

I have not yet read anyone else’s answers, will do so after posting. The law was badly written. The law requires labels for dog food meat, but not for human meat. Things like that. There needs to be a much better, all inclusive labeling required for all food. I would even go so far as to have the terms Vegan and Vegetarian put onto all labels so that we don’t have to wonder if the “natural ingredients” are chicken broth or carmine (ground up red beetles) in our food. I’m all for food labeling, but it needs to be specific, accurate and complete. Unfortunately, this law was none of those things.

Unbroken's avatar

Thanks @flo I love finding new resources. I also got motivated and got on the phone to the fda and left a message, annoying beauracratic bullshit phone lists. Can’t wait for them to call me. Emailing is next.

@cazzie it does seem understandable until the information that our genes our genetic code is mutable. That gene’s can be switched on and off. Other code inserted, and think that the technology used to change to hug to insert itself in plant and animals is Assumed to break down in our digestive system. Seems logical to me.

flo's avatar

“the real problem, which is unsustainable food production, harvest techniques and ‘ownership’ of natural organisms and plants.”
“Most farmers have no CHOICE but to grow GMO crops”
So, we should help them by voting no to Prop 37? We should be on the side of the party that has caused the problem?
http://www.firstpost.com/living/indias-farmer-suicides-film-indicts-us-corporate-greed-482009.html
http://ens-newswire.com/2012/08/09/maharashtra-state-revokes-monsantos-cotton-seed-license/

There are problems that need to be addressed, i.e:
”...pesticides and herbicides used in the mechanised harvesting of cotton has been devastating.”

“The crap fed to chickens and cows and pigs in the forms of growth hormones and antibiotics isn’t required to be labeled.”

Shouldn’t I be able to hide info from you the public?
“The canola oil you use to fry your what-ever in would have to be labeled GMO, even though there has been NO trouble with GMO canola oil for years and years and years” equals to: Yes, you should be able to hide info.

cazzie's avatar

Again.@flo your logic eludes me. We are both on the same side, but you can’t see it.

flo's avatar

“All I can suggest is pick your food-fights.”? We are not on the same side.

I am for “No, to fighting to keep info to oneself.”

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