Call for GMO Labels on Food in Berkeley Goes to Council
The Berkeley City Council agenda for Tuesday night includes a proposal for the City of Berkeley to adopt its own GMO food labeling requirement. A statewide measure, Proposition 37, was narrowly defeated in November.
The agenda item would not trigger a label requirement, at least not right away. It would ask the City Manager and two city commissions – Community Environmental Advisory Commission and the Community Health Commission – to review the issue and return to the council with a recommendation.
Nevertheless, in his report to the council on the item, Arreguin makes clear that he would like Berkeley to adopt a measure similar to GMO label requirement contained in last November's state Proposition 37, which was defeated by a 51.4 percent no vote.
"Though Proposition 37 may not have passed, Berkeley has always been on the forefront of progressive policies that protect the health of its residents and the environment," his agenda report says. "Its adoption of a GMO labeling requirement will not only provide more information to promote better choices locally, but it can serve as an opportunity for other communities to join together in adopting GMO labeling requirements, leading the way for a state requirement to ensure that all Californians have the right to know about their food."
He says also that such labeling requirements have been adopted by the European Union, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and others.
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