Sunday, September 16, 2012

Prop 37 Goes Before Eureka Council

Way down towards the end of this article on the next Eureka City Council meeting it's mentioned that a report on Prop 37- the genetically modified foods labeling initiative- will be presented.

This shouldn't be city business. At least supporting or not supporting the initiative shouldn't be, if that's the intent. First of all, it doesn't have any direct relation to city business. Second, I'd argue the city council shouldn't be publicly taking a position on any initiative when the people living in the city might not feel the same way.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Will the council screw up and take a position on Prop 37 as the Board of Supervisors did?

Addendum: Here's an L.A. Times article with interesting info on Prop 37, including a look at its major proponents and opponents.


At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The health of Eureka citizens is the city council's business, perhaps its most important business.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Nonsense, especially with something so remotely linked to health as food labeling in stores.

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous brian connors said...

Anonymous @ 11:18 AM; It's none of their business.....

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a role every municipality in America takes on -- the welfare of its citizens, including wide-ranging impacts on public health. Even conservative councils see it this way.

Sorry Fred, but you're out-of-touch with America.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous charlie Bean said...

Sharing information at the council meeting is not so bad, especially if both sides are allowed to share views on the topic discussed - Often decisions are endorsed without hearing both sides - Was the council planning on endorsing a particular vote on Prop 37?

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Sorry Fred, but you're out-of-touch with America..

Nope, although I might be out of touch with the many busy body, nanny stater Californians that want government at every level to handle every aspect of their life for them.

I feel safe in saying that most people want their city councils to make sure the streets are maintained, the water is running and the police and fire departments are doing their job.

That's what city councils are all about to most people, not making resolutions about how food is labeled in grocery stores.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Charlie wrote,"Sharing information at the council meeting is not so bad, especially if both sides are allowed to share views on the topic discussed".

This is a state issue, not the city's, Charlie. One that will be voted on November 6. Aside from the fact this isn't city business, there's also nothing the city council could do about it but make a meaningless resolution for or against it.

I suspect this is just an effort by proponents of the measure for free publicity.

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Charlie Bean said...

Yes, free publicity is what they are after.

The city council provides a forum for this, hopefully, both sides will be represented, but probably not.

In your above post, I totally agree with your thoughts about what city council should be about. Working towards improved infrastructure, how to encourage business opportunities into our city, instead of pushing them away.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since virtually everything we eat has been genetically modified (only wild game, berries, and fish are exempt), the decision to label only one form of genetic modification must be seen as a political move: health has nothing to do with it, and the measure will never be enacted in this country. This is how James Maryanski of the FDA sees the matter: "The law says labeling for foods must disclose information that's material, as well as avoiding false or misleading statements. It's our view that the method by which a plant is developed by a plant breeder is not material information in the sense of the law. For example, we do not require sweet corn to be labeled 'hybrid sweet corn' because it was developed through cross hybridization...." (from the article "Right to Know What?" by Peter Spencer, in 'Genetically Modified Foods: debating biotechnology,' ed. Michael Ruse and David Castle). Just because a majority of Californians vote for something does not mean that the measure will be implemented. The FDA has laws on the books that forbid labeling that doesn't bear on health matters. Prop 37 is a waste of time and energy --- especially given the fact that your local health food store is full of genetically modified produce (using the method of nuclear-induced mutations ----- see the May 5, 2012 issue of 'The Economist' and the article on "Nuclear-powered crops").

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I've added a link to an L.A. Times article on Prop 37.

My feeling, as I posted in a comment to that article, is Prop 37 has it backwards. The article points out that, on average, 70% of the food on our grocery shelves contains at least some GMO ingredients.

Seems to me we should just assume the food we eat has some GMO in it, unless told otherwise. We already see a growing number of companies advertising their food as GMO free. They use that as a sales pitch. Why not just continue with that instead of making the majority of producers change labels to tell us what we should already know?


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