In a letter from California Automatic Vendors Council (CAVC) President Larry Atnip to the association's members, he calls for a stop to Proposition 37 on the California's November ballot. Atnip claims it will have an extremely negative impact on vendors, convenience stores, markets, grocers and all retailers in California. The measure would expose retailers to enormous new lawsuits and add a new level of bureaucracy and red tape that will increase costs for you and your customers.
According to the letter, Prop. 37 would require the words "Genetically Engineered" or "Partially" or "May Be Produced with Genetic Engineering" to be printed on the front label and/or grocery display of any food products that contain even trace amounts of a genetically engineered (GE) ingredient. It is estimated that as much as 70 percent of the processed foods in a grocery store or retail store contains some GE ingredient. Retailers would be responsible for ensuring tens of thousands of products and displays in your stores are accurately labeled.
In the letter, Atnip says Prop. 37 was written by a trial lawyer who has made a career out of suing small businesses. Prop. 37 contains a new "bounty hunter lawsuit" provision that would allow any trial lawyer to sue a grocer to "enforce" these labeling regulations, simply by claiming that they mislabeled a food product. According to the independent California Legislative Analyst, these lawsuits could be filed without any proof of damages.
Atnip and the CAVC encourages members and California vending operators to get more information and involved in the No on 37 campaign. They can get information and sign up directly with the campaign at www.NoProp37.com. Or call 1-800-331-0850.