Elaine Watson of Nutraingredients.com interviewed Jonathan Emord concerning a possible legal challenge to California’s Proposition 37 on First Amendment Grounds. Read the full article here: GMO labeling: How vulnerable is Proposition 37 to a legal challenge?
Jonathan explained: “The argument would be that proof of harm is lacking and thus that the state lacks a substantial interest in regulating; has adopted speech restrictions that do not directly advance the state’s interest in protecting consumers; and has adopted speech restrictions that are far more extensive that necessary to protect consumers.”
He continued: “In addition to arguments that GMO containing foods may be deleterious … I would suspect Prop 37 proponents to argue that … GMOs are ubiquitous pollutants in that they leach into and contaminate organic strains, preventing them from being free from GMOs and saleable as organic… Unlike the rBST context , genetic modifications in the crop supply migrate to non-GMO crops and thus pollute or trespass upon farms and food processors that seek to sell organic strains. That, among other factual arguments, creates a material distinction.”
Jonathan concluded: “Ultimately, however, the Supreme Court would have to decide whether the harms from GMOs are substantial and whether Prop 37 is reasonably tailored to advance the state’s interest in protecting consumers from those harms.”
If enacted, California Prop 37 would, in part:
- require labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if that food is manufactured using plants or animals with genetic alterations; and
- prohibit retailers, distributors, and manufacturers from advertising or labeling such products as “natural.”