“There are millions of people in California, and beyond, who know about genetically modified foods and are asking questions about the impacts on the environment, our food system and on human health. Consumers will keep asking these questions and, inevitably, the momentum of GMO labeling efforts will continue to grow. Straus Family Creamery looks forward to carrying on its educational work in collaboration with thought leaders, tens of thousands of grassroots volunteers across the country, many like-minded businesses, and organizations.” Albert Straus
What we think about GMOs:
At Straus Family Creamery, we believe that people have the right to know what is in their food and that GMOs have no place in our food system. Mandatory labeling would be a great first step in the right direction. Straus Family Creamery is actively involved in promoting current and past initiatives demanding labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, such as the Just Label It campaign, California’s Prop 37 and Washington State’s Initiative Yes on 522.
Why GMOs need to be labeled:
- Consumers have a fundamental right to know what we are eating and feeding our children.
- Polls show that more than 92% of Americans believe that we have a right to know which foods contain GMOs.
- More than 60 countries worldwide, including all EU member countries and China, currently require mandatory labeling of GMOs.
- GMOs negatively impact the environment, because farmers growing GMO crops must increase their use of pesticides and fertilizers.
- Genetically engineered (GE) foods have not been adequately studied.
Overview of current and past GMO labeling efforts:
The original grassroots organization that succeeded in getting Prop 37 on the California ballot in 2012. Pamm Larry started Label GMOs in January of 2011, recruited thousands of volunteers and dozens of regional leaders. Today, the organization has grown to a network of action groups all over the state.
CA Proposition 37:
The CA Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act of 2012, also known as Proposition 37, was a ballot initiative, created to require labeling of most genetically engineered foods in California.
Although Prop 37 had many supporters (6,088,714 Californians voted Yes on Prop 37), raised significant national awareness about GMOs in the US, and created great momentum for GMO labeling efforts, Prop 37 was defeated in November 2012.
Straus Family Creamery donated $5,000 to the campaign in 2012 and many, many tubs of organic ice cream for GMO-labeling events, as well as a significant amount of staff time to serve on committees and working groups.
Just Label It!:
The “Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know” campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of GE foods nationwide. Just Label It works to represent the rights of the consumer and to promote transparency in food labeling. In September 2011, the campaign submitted a petition to the FDA calling for the mandatory labeling of GE foods, which has garnered well over 1 million comments (and counting).
Whole Foods Market:
In 2013, Whole Foods Market announced that by 2018, all products sold in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate if they contain genetically modified organisms. Whole Foods is the first U.S. national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO labeling transparency.
Moms Across America:
Moms Across America is an international coalition of mothers “committed to empowering millions to educate themselves about GMOs and related pesticides, get GMOs labeled and offer GMO-free and organic solutions.” Best known for their 4th of July parades participation, Moms Across America works tirelessly to educate their communities on the issues surrounding GMOs.
In more than 20 states from coast to coast, groups of volunteers are working to pass ballot initiatives to get GMOs in foods labeled. Despite the fact that initiatives have been defeated during elections, these grassroots campaigns have succeeded in educating millions of people on the issues surrounding GMOs. For an overview of state initiatives, click here.
I-522, a 2013 Washington State ballot initiative, would have required foods produced entirely or partly with GMOs to be labeled on retail packaging. The campaign in support of the legislation, Yes on 522, worked tirelessly to educate consumers in the Pacific Northwest.
Although I-522 had tremendous public support, it was defeated by a very small margin in November 2013. Straus Family Creamery actively supported Yes on 522 efforts by donating $5,000, and many cups of ice cream for Yes on 522 events.