Battle Over New Label for Foods in California in Dead Heat

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SACRAMENTO-

One of the most controversial propositions on the ballot is a dead heat.

The big question: do you need or want to know what exactly you eat and what you feed your family?

The fight over Prop 37 is so contentious and close that backers and opponents have launched a full-scale war in ads.

At the heart of the battle: what exactly goes from the field to your dinner table.

Eric Frees has been farming in Dixon since the 80’s.

“It could be very devastating to myself, my employees on the trickle down thing,” Freese said.

The measure would require foods to be labeled that have genetically modified organisms engineered to withstand chemical pesticides or herbicides.

Susan Lang supports the measure.

“We don’t know what we’re putting in our bodies. More importantly we don’t know what we’re putting in our children’s bodies. We don’t know what the effect on future generations,” Lang said.

Opponents say at face value, it sounds like a good idea.

“From my perspective it’s two groups: organics and lawyers trying to drum up money for themselves,” said Colin Carter, a professor at the UC Davis School of Agriculture.

Freese says it means he’d have to make big changes.

“Basically id have to split my operation in two and it could cause a lot of harm to what I’m doing,” Freese said.

The consumer would bear the brunt of the costs opponents say, possibly increasing grocery store bills by $400 a year.

But supporters say it comes down to a right to know.

“I think we’re all smart enough to see through deceptive advertising and at the end of the day have a right to see what’s in the food,” said Lang.

An L.A. Times polls shows support plummeted in recent weeks.

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