Sunday, November 4, 2012

What does California's Proposition 37 mean for the health of your dog?

On Tuesday, November 6th, along with the general election, Californians will decide on a a very important proposition that will have a big impact on the health of you and your dog.

In the upcoming election, Californians will vote on Proposition 37, a bill that would make that state the first state to mandate labeling of foods made from genetically engineered organisms (GMO's).

Proposition 37 on the California ballot if passed:
  • Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
  • Prohibits labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”
  • Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages.

What exactly does this mean? 

If passed, it means that raw or processed foods, including those for pets, will be required to be labeled if they include genetically modified ingredients.

It also means that no longer will California allow foods with genetically modified ingredients to be labeled, advertised or identified as 'natural,' providing clear and transparent labeling of your, and your dog's, food.

Why do we need GMO foods labeled?

Genetically modified plants and animals (or organisms), also known as GMO's, refers to techniques used by scientists to modify deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or the genetic material of a microorganism, plant, or animal in order to achieve a desired trait," according to the FDA. "In the case of foods, genetically engineered plant foods are produced from crops whose genetic makeup has been altered through a process called recombinant DNA, or gene splicing, to give the plant desired traits."

Many pet food manufacturers (other than those labeled as organic) source their meats from a wide variety of farms across the country, with many of them sourcing from factory farms. The main feed for cows and chickens in factory farms is corn and soy, which we've learned that 90% of the corn and soy grown in the US is GMO corn and soy.

Unless your dog's food is labeled organic, including raw and kibble, it's an almost certainty that it's affected by GMO's. It's passed on through GMO affected plants included in their food, and/or through the meat source, i.e., cow, chicken, pork and other highly utilized meat sources that feed from GMO crops.

In our recent post about GMO's and the affect they may have on your dog, we outlined a wide variety of research that is showing that genetically modified foods may be harmful to you and your dog; so much so that many countries in Europe have banned GMO's, while other countries have required labeling for quite some time. We encourage you, if you haven't already, to read our post and learn more about the affects of GMO's on our bodies and our dog's.

Who is for it and who is against it?

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), an organization who describes themselves as an organization that 'promotes responsible pet ownership and animal welfare, fosters environmental stewardship, and ensures the availability of pets.... is a nonprofit, service-oriented organization comprised of members who care about pets and the pet industry,' is against Proposition 37. They believe it will 'impose excessive costs for re-labeling (by manufacturers) without providing commensurate benefit to consumers.'

Interestingly, board members of PIJAC include representatives from Petco, Petsmart, Central Garden and Pet, Natural Balance Pet Food, and more.

Other companies that are against llabeling of GMO foods in California include big agricultural firms such as Monsanto and Conagra, as well as Del Monte (makers of Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Milo's Kitchen, Nature's Recipe, Kibbles N Bits), Mars (makers of Nutro, Cesar, Greenies, Pedigree, Royal Canin), Nestle (makers of Frosty Paws, Purina, Chef Michaels) and more.

Companies that support truth in labeling and Proposition 37 include Nell Newman of Newman's Own, (makers of Newman's Own Pet Foods), Stonyfield Farm, Organic Consumer's Association,  The Center for Food Safety, American Public Health Association, California Nurses Association, Sierra Club, Whole Foods Market, California Certified Organic Farmers, Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, Natural Resource Defense Council, Rodale, and more.

What the future holds.

The future of the health of our dogs is, and always has been, in our hands. It is very possible if Proposition 37 passes in California that more states will follow their lead, pass GMO labeling requirements and provide us with the knowledge and information we need to make more informed decisions for the health of our dog.

We at Raise A Green Dog fully believe that pet companies should be required to be truthful and open in the labeling of products to allow us to make the most informed decisions possible relating to our dogs. If these companies will not provide truth in labeling information voluntarily, then it is our duty and responsibility to move to require them by law for the health, happiness and longevity of our dogs. Proposition 37 is one way we can!

If you are in California, we encourage you to read and be informed about Proposition 37 and learn more about how this proposition can and will affect not only the health of your dog, but your other pets and yours. And if you are not a resident of California spread the information and help inform your friends and family who may live in that state so that they too can make a more informed voting decision.

Resources and more info, non-biased, for and against:


Photo courtesy: BuzzFarmers
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2 comments:

  1. I was in CA last week and learned more about prop 37 than I ever imagined. Hoping Californians see through the propaganda about extra costs and embrace a better, healthier life for their families. CA can be the example the rest of the world embraces!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I Think it's pretty curious - if they believe that GMO is so awesome and harmless, why resist putting in on the labels? Shouldn't they proudly feature big starbursts?

    That alone is pretty fishy.

    ReplyDelete

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