Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why I will vote NO ON 105. {2014 Colorado Ballot}

I don't typically discuss politics on my blog, but heck! I haven't been discussing much of anything on my blog lately. ;) I just can't stay quiet about Proposition 105, which will be on Colorado's ballot this year. 

Colorado's ballot will include Proposition 105 which, if passed, will require the labeling of some foods grown, produced, sold, and packaged in Colorado that were made from genetically engineered ingredients. The Proposition doesn't do what it claims to do, is poorly written and deserves a NO vote. To be upfront, this will not be a blog post on whether GMOs are good or bad - it's a post about how Proposition 105 is horribly written and why I will be voting NO on Prop 105

The official ballot question reads as follows:

Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning labeling of genetically modified food; and, in connection therewith, requiring food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, "Produced With Genetic Engineering" starting on July 1, 2016; exempting some foods including but not limited to food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food; requiring the Colorado department of public health and environment to regulate the labeling of genetically modified food; and specifying that no private right of action is created for failure to conform to the labeling requirements?
Source: Ballotpedia
Full Text Here. 

How can more labeling be a bad thing? Well, let's dive right in...
First of all, Proposition 105 exempts two-thirds of the food in our grocery store which is very misleading for consumers; Coloradans won't be able to trust these labels with all its inconsistencies. While your cereal package may have a "Produced With Genetic Engineering" label on it, your carton of eggs and meat (just to name a few) won't be required to have this label even if they are made with genetically engineered products. At the same time, many foods will have this label, even if they were not made with or contain GMO ingredients. Two great examples of how this will play out include sugar beets and cheese. 

Sugar from sugar beets. The genetically modified part of the sugar beet is a protein in the plant. When the sugar is extracted all protein is removed and there is no detectable GMOs in sugar. In this instance Prop 105 would require a label of a Colorado product that doesn’t contain GMOs.

Cheese. The vast majority of cheese (approximately 85%) is made with an enzyme derived from genetic engineering but would be exempt. This is just one example of many where products containing GMOs would be exempt from the mandatory labeling under Proposition 105.

Here's a diagram that lists exemptions:
No ON 105
Source: here.

Not only are there inconsistencies in the way the Proposition is written, it will increase food production costs for Colorado farmers and ranchers which will raise the annual cost of groceries several hundred dollars per family, per year. The zero threshold requirement written into this Proposition means farmers and ranchers that produce both genetically modified and non-genetically modified foods will need to implement two different farming practices to ensure these products do not touch or they will face large penalties. Not to mention the increase in cost farmers and food producers in Colorado and throughout the country will see as a result of having to separate, repackage, and re-label their products just for our state!  You can't change the food production process, force new practices on those in the food supply chain and not expect the cost to be passed on to consumers.
Source: Cornell Study and WA State Academy of Science

To many, the fact that farmer John has to buy new equipment, or build new infrastructure may not mean much, but let's take note that the Colorado food industry was praised for helping Colorado survive the recession - it's success is vital to our state. This proposition will put the Colorado food industry at a huge disadvantage, impacting farmers and ranchers, and potentially putting many out of business. Agriculture plays an important role in Colorado's economy, contributing more than $5 billion dollars a year. Do we really want to impose unnecessary regulations that won't do what they claim to do, but that will surely hurt an important Colorado industry by putting it at a huge disadvantage? All while we already have a national labeling process that works?
Source: Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

The proponents of Proposition 105 claim they just want to know what is in their food, and with the national labeling standards already in place, we DO KNOW and have the choice to buy USDA Certified Organic or foods with the “Non-GMO label” from the GMO Free Project.
The proposition will undoubtedly create more bureaucracies which will result in higher taxes. How? Someone has to implement these new laws and the money needs to come from somewhere.

Voting No on Proposition 105 doesn't mean you don't care about what is in your food, of course we care. 

Voting No on Proposition 105 doesn't mean there is anything to hide.

Voting NO on Proposition 105 simply means you care about Colorado's economy and call for a fair and consistent proposition to be passed. 

Proposition 105 is inaccurate, will hurt ALL Coloradans and our state's economy and will largely impact Colorado's second largest industry - Agriculture! Proposition 105 deserves a NO vote and I know I will give it that. 

Gubernatorial candidates, Bob Beauprez and Governor John Hicklenlooper both oppose Prop 105. If they are reaching across the aisle to stand united on this one, that should say something... 
You can watch the gubernatorial candidate debate here (43:40).'s nice to be back. :) 

Please go to to join the No on 105 coalition or use the "Let's Connect" button if you would like more information.