Last summer, The Sheet met with Pamm Larry, the self-described “initial instigator” of Label GMOs: It’s Our Right to Know initiative for the 2012 California ballot. At the time Larry was traveling around California bringing awareness about genetically modified organisms in food to residents of the state.
On Aug. 31, 2011 she stopped into Mammoth for about 24 hours and held an Activist Seed Meeting. At the time, Larry was working hard to get the initiative on the ballot.
According to the initiative’s website, www.labelgmos.org, “Getting an initiative on the California ballot is a timed adventure. Once we turn the language of the initiative in, the state has it for anywhere from 40 to 60ish days or so. Once we get it back, we have 150 days to gather 504,760 qualifying signatures. All experts tell us that we should count on gathering 750,000 – 800,000 to make sure we have enough that make it. We’re organizing our signature gathering campaign now so that when we get the initiative back we are ready to start running.”
Getting an early start seems to have worked. On June 11, the California Secretary of State’s office announced that the GMO labeling measure had gathered enough valid signatures to be placed on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot this fall.
According to the press release from the Secretary of State’s office, the measure “Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as ‘natural.’ Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential increase in state administrative costs of up to one million dollars annually to monitor compliance with the disclosure requirements specified in the measure. Unknown, but potentially significant, costs for the courts, the Attorney General, and district attorneys due to litigation resulting from possible violations to the provisions of this measure. (11-0099.)”