Featured Law Firm Memo: Alston + Bird on California’s Proposition 37

Photo by by Dennis Mojado. Some rights reserved.

Yesterday, law firm Alston + Bird published a memo discussing Proposition 37, which would require labels on all genetically modified foods (and products containing GM foods) sold in California.

While the memo discusses the details of the proposition itself, most interesting are the parallels drawn between Prop 37 and Proposition 65, which passed in California in 1986, and requires the state to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects, and further requires businesses to notify consumers of the presences of such chemicals in products they may purchase.

Prop 65 has had a legendary and lasting effect on California businesses – the law firm memo notes that Prop 65 “has led to 16,000 lawsuits and close to $500 million in settlements, much of which has gone directly to plaintiffs’ lawyers for fees and costs” – and Alston + Bird estimates that Prop 37 will similarly “cover a vast array of food products and…elicit many citizen enforcement suits.”

The LA Times has already recommended a NO vote on Prop 37, claiming that the initiative is sloppily written. However, plenty of folks are saying YES.

If it passes, Prop 37 will go into effect July 1, 2014. For more details, don’t forget to check out the Alston + Bird memo.

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