Late yesterday afternoon the California Secretary of State’s office announced that proponents of a sweeping GE labeling and food marketing initiative has in fact qualified to appear on California’s General Election ballot in November.
Qualification was expected, with proponents submitting nearly twice the number of required signatures. The final random sample verification report notes County voting officials had confirmed as valid 561,466 signatures – 555,236 were needed to automatically qualify. CGA has been closely monitoring the effort and has significant concerns about the impact of the proposal on the retail food industry. The proposal seeks to not only mandate labels on food containing GE ingredients, but also creates significant restrictions on the use of terms like “natural” in food labeling and marketing and in-store signage.
This initiative joins an already crowded field of eight proposals that are guaranteed a spot on the November ballot. An additional five are pending signature verification, including the Governor’s temporary tax increase proposal. The deadline for any initiative to qualify for the November ballot is June 28.
CGA will discuss taking a formal position on the initiative at its July Board meeting. In the meantime, we will continue working with the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition. Additional resources are available on the coalition’s web site including information on becoming a member and educational resources.
For more information on the initiative, or if you are contacted by media and would prefer to have the Coalition respond, please contact Keri Askew Bailey.