Lauren has been researching and writing on Proposition 37 in California - the proposition on the November ballot in California that calls for the labeling of Genetically Engineered food products. She did a great job analyzing the specific language of the ballot measure and the legal issues that may well come up if it passes. Current polling indicates that it is likely to pass.
The labeling of food products produced through genetic engineering has been a contentious issue since the technology was first introduced decades ago. Controversy surged in recent years as more GE products were approved and consumers became more active in questioning how their food was produced. The FDA has consistently said that labeling is not required so long as the product is essentially the same as the non-GE product. The Just Label It campaign states that it has gathered over 1 million signatures on its request to the FDA to revisit its labeling policy. In this environment, the Prop 37 initiative has gained significant media attention and even more attention from the affected industries. The stakes are high for all concerned, with not only labeling issues but product segregation, stream of commerce, and enforcement issues all in play.
In class, Lauren dealt effectively with the legal issues presented - what does Prop 37 require, what exemptions are provided, and what are the likely challenges if it passes. Thanks, Lauren - great job. I am fortunate to have such a talented class of LL.M. candidates this year - and I hope to rely on them throughout the year for this kind of presentation.
You can read the series of articles Lauren wrote analyzing the ballot issue on Jason Foscolo LLC - Food Law, the blog of Agricultural & Food Law Attorney (and LL.M. Alumnus) Jason Foscolo.
- California's Prop 37 - GMO Labeling (Sept. 24, 2012);
- California's Prop 37 - GMO Labeling, Part 2 (Sept. 26, 2012);
- California's Prop 37 - GMO Labeling, Part 3 (Sept. 27, 2012);
- California's Prop 37 - GMO Labeling, Part 4 (Sept. 28, 2012).