Local grocer thinks Prop. 37 good idea

Omar Oseguera, Photo and Multimedia Editor

One of the most controversial topics in the upcoming elections is that of Proposition 37. The proposition would demand all companies using genetically engineered food to label their product as genetically engineered.

Controversy around this topic resides in what its true purpose is. Some say it is all a scam by a lawyer wanting to make money off of the big food companies. Others say that those big companies are sending out that propaganda themselves, using millions of dollars to make sure it doesn’t pass, because they don’t want people to know what is behind genetically engineered foods.

Bakersfield native and local food market owner Chuck Naus feels that Proposition 37 should pass.

“Yes on 37 is a grassroots effort to just very simply [have] our foods labeled properly,” began Naus. “Right now our foods [being sold] are not disclosing what items are in the food that are genetically modified.”

Naus also believes that what the “No on 37” campaign says is untrue.

“That’s all this really is about; it’s not about special interest groups,” explained Naus.

“If you really want to boil it down to that, every political decision is fueled by special

interest, but in this case it truly is a legitimate grassroots effort.

It doesn’t have a lot of money behind it.”

The money behind Proposition 37 campaigns are mostly seen on the “no” side.

Political advertisements show lists of all the major companies who are against the proposition, and smaller companies who are for it.

“Now it’s gotten ugly because you have huge corporations that aren’t even based in California that are funding the ‘No on 37’ campaign, most notable is Monsanto,” said Naus.

Another argument against Proposition 37 is that it will hurt grocers and lower class citizens by causing a price hike on goods.

Naus has a personal connection to this issue, because he owns a small market in downtown Bakersfield, Nature’s Food Market and Juice Bar.

“They keep referring to the fact that it’s going to cost a lot of money to the grocers, which I am a grocer,” said Naus.

“I am also a health advocate, so I am stepping out of my realm of profits and telling people it’s more important to know what you’re eating and to know what’s making you sick.

“If you’re eating something that technically isn’t healthy or fit for human consumption, we need to know about it.”

Naus speculated as to why there may be such a big effort against the proposition.

“I truly believe that [the reason for] this big-time funding [against Proposition 37] is coming from the idea of banning [genetically engineered foods],” said Naus.

“We are asking that you just disclose.”