A California initiative to require labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients appeared headed for the ballot in November after organizers said on Wednesday they had gathered nearly 1 million signatures in favor of the measure. The signatures were well in excess of the roughly half-million required for a statewide referendum. If the signatures are verified, the measure will go before voters Nov. 6. Many health, environment and consumer advocates say GMO crops can damage the environment and hurt animal and human health. Labeling would allow consumers to know what they were purchasing and eating, they say. However, the grocery and biotechnology industries have started a formal campaign to push against the measure, saying labels would drive up food prices and open the door for lawsuits against farmers. But California may beat FDA to the punch, and its Right to Know Act will impact food labeling across the nation.
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