It comes as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog regularly, follows my Twitter or Facebook feeds, or has talked with me in person lately that I’m pleased to see that Proposition 37 has failed to pass in California. I firmly believe that passing this legislation—as it was proposed—would have been a mistake.
The rallying cry for supporters of this proposition has been “The Right To Know.” It sounds so simple: why shouldn’t people know if their food is genetically modified? What does Monsanto have to hide? But couching the issue in terms of knowledge assumes one thing: that labeling will be in any way informative. In the case of Prop 37, it simply wouldn’t have been. Michael Eisen put it perfectly:
This language reflects the belief of its backers that GMOs are intrinsically bad and deserve to be labeled – and avoided – en masse, no matter what modification they contain or towards what end they were produced. This is not a quest for knowledge – it is a an attempt to reify ignorance.The simple fact is that ther