With all the finger-pointing at the groups who oppose Prop. 37, one group seems to have escaped the wrath of the anti-GMO crowd, The Natural Products Association (NPA).
The NPA is the trade and lobbying group for makers of natural products. They have come out against the law. They state they like the idea of the law, but have a problem with the enforcement provisions, the very same provisions the other opposition forces dislike.
NPA is very concerned with the enforcement provision as well as the limited definition of natural included in the language. Proposition 37 places every supplier, manufacturer, and retailer of food products at risk of unreasonable and frivolous litigation. We are concerned the restrictions on natural foods in the proposition language could create a difficult business environment in California and further hinder the ability of our members to sell natural products.”
It’s interesting to note that at least two of the supporters of Prop.37, Nature’s Path and our old buddy Mercola are members of the NPA.
The NPA also has a problem with what is considered not natural under the law. For example, the simple act of making apple sauce would not be considered natural under the new law. Support of this law may have unintended consequences for the those companies who cater to the natural foods consumer.
In an opinion piece on the website Natural Products Insider, John Shaw, executive director and CEO of the NPA writes:
How will manufacturers prove their products don’t contain GE material? They have to gather affidavits from each link in the supply chain for every ingredient certifying, to the best of their knowledge, that each ingredient is not GE. However, this exemption would be difficult for manufacturers to comply with, and if it broke down in just one spot, the product would need to be labeled. I foresee problems with getting all ingredient suppliers to provide an affidavit. If manufacturers cannot prove, without a shred of doubt, that their product is free of GE material, they’ll have to label their products.
All polls lead to passage of this inane law. We can expect that right after it passes, the legal challenges will begin. I’m not the best prognosticator, but my hunch is that it will eventually be struck down as a bad law. Even the Analysis by the California Secretary of State’s Legislative analyst paints a bad picture:
Increased annual state costs ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Potential, but likely not significant, costs to state and local governments due to litigation resulting from possible violations of the requirements of this measure. Some of these costs would be supported by court filing fees that the parties involved in each legal case would be required to pay under existing law.