California Newspapers Oppose Proposition 37

​(October 18, 2012) Newspapers throughout California have recommended a “no” vote on California Chamber of Commerce-opposed Proposition 37, the food labeling mandate on the November ballot.

Proposition 37 is a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, create new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions—without providing any health or safety benefits. The measure is based on bad science and would place California at a competitive disadvantage to other states.

To date, at least 28 newspapers have editorialized against Proposition 37. Here is a sampling of what the newspapers have been saying:

“Most of the burden for ensuring that foods are properly labeled would fall not on producers but on retailers, which would have to get written statements from their suppliers verifying that there were no bioengineered ingredients — a paperwork mandate that could make it hard for mom-and-pop groceries to stay in business. Enforcement would largely occur through lawsuits brought by members of the public who suspect grocers of selling unlabeled food, a messy and potentially expensive way to bring about compliance. — Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2012

“This food-labeling scheme — written by trial lawyers who hope for a windfall if it becomes law — has many flaws: It creates a new bureaucracy, has huge loopholes and hidden costs and will result in higher grocery bills.” — San Francisco Chronicle, September 9, 2012

“Voters should be concerned that Prop. 37 would likely spawn waves of lawsuits, with the litigation and enforcement costs passed on to grocers and the consumers.” — The Orange County Register, September 28, 2012

“It is an overreach, is ambiguous, and would open the way for countless lawsuits against retailers who sell food that might lack the proper labeling.” —The Sacramento Bee, September 16, 2012

“But Prop. 37 carries onerous aspects that, for us, make it unworkable. First is that rather than rely on state enforcement of the labeling requirement, it allows state government, local government or private parties to sue companies that violate the labeling requirement. It also relieves the plaintiffs of any burden to show specific damage because of the violation.” Oakland Tribune, 08/16/12

“The problem is that the standards imposed by Proposition 37 would not only make California the first state to have such regulations, they far exceed anything being required by other countries. It also opens the door to potential “shakedown” lawsuits. Press-Democrat, 10/01/12

“This measure is based on bad science and would place California at a competitive disadvantage to other states,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg. “If passed Proposition 37 would impose specific state-only labeling requirements which confuse and unnecessarily worry consumers. Based on the breadth of the definitions in the initiatives, almost every aspect of the food chain would be impacted requiring needless labeling and sharply increasing the cost of food to consumers at a time when they can least afford it.” 

The following newspapers have editorialized against Proposition 37:

Los Angeles Times, 10/04/12

San Francisco Chronicle, 09/07/12

The Sacramento Bee, 09/16/12

La Opinion, 10/10/12

San Jose Mercury News, 10/05/12

San Diego Union-Tribune, 09/28/12

Oakland Tribune, 08/16/12

The Orange County Register, 09/28/12

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 10/01/12

San Bernardino Sun, 10/01/12

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10/01/12

Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/01/12

San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 09/27/12

Whittier Daily News, 09/27/12

Long Beach Press Telegram, 09/28/12

Pasadena Star News, 09/28/12

Los Angeles Daily News, 09/28/12

Torrance Daily Breeze, 09/27/12

Merced Sun-Star, 09/26/12

Redding Record Searchlight, 09/24/12

The Modesto Bee, 09/24/12

The Fresno Bee, 09/19/12

Bakersfield Californian, 09/15/12

Ventura County Star, 09/14/12

Carmel Pine Cone, 08/24/12

Contra Costa Times, 08/16/12

Palm Springs Desert Sun, 08/13/12

Capital Press, 06/21/12

For more information on Proposition 37, please visit

For more information on CalChamber positions on the November ballot measures, visit