California voters rebuff labels on GMO foods

Measure rejected by 53 percent to 47 percent

LOS ANGELES - Voters in California have rejected a proposal to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the vote was at 53 percent opposed and 47 percent in favor.

Consumer groups and the organic food industry backing the ballot initiative, known as Proposition 37, said shoppers deserve to know what's in their food. Had it passed, California would have been the first state to mandate labeling on food packaging or supermarket shelves.

Agribusiness and food manufacturers spent tens of millions of dollars to swamp airwaves with advertising, saying passage would lead to higher grocery bills and frivolous lawsuits.

Major science and medical groups have said there's no reason to label genetically modified foods since they're as safe to eat as conventional foods.

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