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California public to vote on GMO Label Act after 1 million signatures

May 04, 2012
"I am so proud of the army of volunteers, most of them mothers and grandmothers, who stood tireless [sic] in the rain and cold to gather signatures,"
- initiative's founder, Chico resident Pamm Larry

The grassroots petition in California to mandate the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods has garnered almost double the amount of signatures needed to place the issue on the state ballot for the November 2012 election.

Over the last two months, citizens across the state partnered with LabelGMOs.org to collect 971,126 signatures in support of the California Right to Know Initiative, well over the minimum requirement of 555,236. The signatures were submitted to election officials on Wednesday, and once they are certified, the measure will be approved for inclusion on ballots statewide.

Representatives in around 20 other states have sponsored similar laws over the past year, according to the Wall Street Journal, but many of these efforts have been stifled by opposition in state legislatures. What makes the California initiative different is that the people -- not the politicians -- get to vote on whether genetically engineered foods must be labeled.

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