This November, Californians will vote on Proposition 37, which proposes adding labels to food products containing ingredients hat have been genetically modified.

Genetically modified what?

Yeah – this is about as confusing as it gets, and there’s weird science behind the whole thing, which makes it even harder to understand for us normal folk.

At a glance, this is what Prop 37 would::

  • Require labels on all raw foods that have been genetically engineered, and all processed foods with genetically engineered ingredients
  • Prohibit genetically engineered foods could from being labeled “natural,” a term that is not currently regulated.
  • Would not require labeling of certain products, including alcoholic beverages, prepared foods, medicine and animal feed

So … let’s start off with a little multimedia primer before we dive into the nitty gritty of what exactly genetically modified organisms (GMOs) actually. Check out the great animation (above) produced by the good people at Explainer Music, and then take a listen to a few good NPR/KQED radio stories and discussion (below) on the issue.

And stay tuned to The Lowdown for more posts on what the heck this all means.





Genetically Modified What? What’s the deal with GMOs (and should we know when were eating them)? 1 February,2013Matthew Green


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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