Bill to Label GMOs Narrowly Fails on California Senate Floor


SACRAMENTO — A bill that would require the labeling of all foods sold in California containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) narrowly failed on the California Senate floor today, falling just two votes short of the 21 it needed to pass.

“It is unfortunate that the California Senate did not allow this measure to move forward,” said Garo Manjikian, Legislative Advocate for CALPIRG. “Consumers have real concerns about the impact of GMOs. Despite the fact that a majority of Californians support labeling, big agribusinesses and the biotech industry lobbied heavily to defeat this bill.”

California is one of more than 20 states across the country considering either legislation or ballot initiatives that would require GMO labeling. In 2012, California voters narrowly rejected Proposition 37, a ballot initiative to label GMO foods, after an opposition campaign led by Monsanto, DuPont and the Grocery Manufacturers Association spent more than $46 million to defeat the measure.

The United States remains the only industrialized country without mandatory labeling. More than 60 countries, including the European Union, have passed laws that require GMO labeling. Three states — Connecticut, Maine and Vermont — have also passed GMO labeling laws.

“Today’s vote is a setback,” said Manjikian. “But we will continue the fight for the right of consumers to know what’s in their food.”