In the second of its two-part series about California's Proposition 37, which would require food and supplement products to disclose if they are "produced with genetic engineering," the October issue of the AHPA Report, the monthly e-newsletter published by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), features two guest articles that provide views on why the amendment should be supported and why it should be opposed.
The first article, written by Grant Lundberg, CEO of the Richvale, Calif.-based Lundberg Family Farms and co-chair of the California Right to Know Steering Committee, is in support of Proposition 37. In his article, Lundberg says, "Our market economy finds value by producing goods that consumers want. If the information about genetically engineered ingredients is hidden, how can consumers choose? How can we understand the risks and potential value of this new technology?"
Louis Finkel, executive vice president of government affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufactures Association, which opposes the initiative through the No On 37 campaign, notes that, among other issues, "Not only would the labels deliver misleading information to consumers, but because this is a California-only ballot measure, it would also require herbal product companies to establish separate processing, distribution, tracking, and paperwork requirements for products sold in that state-a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare."
In the September AHPA Report, AHPA President Michael McGuffin authored an article providing a description of the initiative and speculated on its possible impact on supplement companies and retailers doing business in California.
The AHPA staff has created a PDF containing all three articles, which is available for free download.
AHPA adopted a guidance policy in 2007 to express support for labeling of consumer goods to identify genetically engineered herbal ingredients. In July, the AHPA board of trustees determined to refrain from taking a formal position either in support of or in opposition to Proposition 37.
These articles are provided solely to encourage the supplement industry to read this ballot initiative in its entirety and to be prepared to comply with this law if the people of the State of California adopt it in November.
The full text of the initiative is available in California’s Official Voter Information Guide starting on page 110), and the Attorney General’s summary and analysis is available on the secretary of state's website.