Professor: Prop 37 to Subject Most Packaged Foods to Labeling


ITHACA, N.Y. — A Cornell University professor maintains most packaged foods would need to carry a genetically engineered label if California voters approve Proposition 37.

"In 2012, genetically engineered varieties were grown on 88 percent of U.S. field corn acres, 93 percent of soybean acres, and 94 percent of cotton acres," says Margaret Smith, professor of plant breeding and genetics and agricultural extension leader. "A majority of packaged foods on typical grocery shelves include some ingredients derived from corn, soybean or cotton, so if this law passes, most packaged products would have to carry a genetically engineered label."

Her remarks reflect a continuing debate over the scope of a measure designed to inform consumers about the foods they eat. Genetically engineered foods, say proponents of the measure, can result in unintended adverse health consequences. Critics say genetic engineering has been used for decades to grow crops, and that respected scientific and medical organizations have concluded such foods are safe.

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