Thanks to the 15,000 people in Santa Cruz County who signed the petition for labeling for genetically-engineered foods. To support the passage of this historic intiative, please offer your endorsement at: http://carighttoknow.org/?q=node/17.
Here's some background on the progress of the California Right to Know campaign to date:
GMO-Free Santa Cruz volunteers participated in a victory rally in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 2 to celebrate the success of the California Right to Know signature gathering campaign. A total of 971,126 signatures were collected in support of the state's first-ever ballot initiative to require labeling of genetically-engineered foods. The huge signature haul, gathered in a 10-week period, is nearly double the 555,236 signatures the campaign needs to qualify for the November ballot.
"To get the initiative on the ballot this fall, we needed verified signatures from five percent of California registered voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election. We are very proud that GMO-Free Santa Cruz volunteers gathered over 15,000 signatures, which represents about 15 percent of registered voters in Santa Cruz County," said Mary Graydon-Fontana, co-coordinator of GMO-Free Santa Cruz. "We now move into a new phase of the campaign: to educate our community about this issue so that they understand why they should vote for GMO food labeling this November, and to collect endorsements from area businesses and groups. We encourage local businesses to go to [our website] and express their support for GMO food labeling."
If passed this November, Californians will join citizens of over 40 countries including all of Europe, Japan and even China who have the right to know whether they are eating genetically-engineered food.
"I am so proud of the army of volunteers, many of them mothers and grandmothers, who stood tireless in the rain and cold to gather signatures," said Pamm Larry, a former midwife, farmer and longtime Chico resident, who initiated the California Right to Know campaign through her group Label GMOs. "Thousands of volunteers across the state contributed to this victory. The people of California have spoken: We will have the right to know what we’re eating and no one will stop us."
"This bumper crop of signatures is a testament to the desire of Californians to know what’s really in our food," said Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms and a third-generation rice farmer and food processor. "It is a rich harvest of support for the right to know and the right to choose."
Labeling genetically-engineered foods is a wildly-popular idea and enjoys nearly unanimous support across the political spectrum. A March 2012 Mellman Group poll found that nine out of 10 American voters favor labeling for genetically-engineered food.
"In a country seemingly dominated by partisan polarization on everything from the cause of hurricanes to the state of the economy, it’s hard to find issues, outside of motherhood and apple pie, that can muster over 90 percent support. … We found one," pollster Mark Mellman wrote in a recent article in the Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill.
For information about GMO-Free Santa Cruz, visit: www.carighttoknow.org.
What do you think about GMO labeling? Are you happy it will be on the ballot in November? How will you vote? Tell us in the comments!