Proposition 37 interviews – call for questions!

Readers, I have some great news! I have just heard back from the two opposing campaigns for and against proposition 37, and they have agreed to do phone interviews for the Biofortified Blog. With a little more than a week to go until the election, however, this means that we will be doing these interviews right away. I will be conducting these interviews about the proposition on Monday, tomorrow, but I would like to give you a chance to submit a question for either side and I will consider adding them to my list.

Readers of this blog should already be pretty familiar with the basic idea of the proposition, which is an effort to require labels for genetically engineered food of certain types, and to ban the use of “natural” terms on such foods. Arguments for the proposition include the “Right to Know” if your food has been genetically engineered and the claim that it will cost consumers nothing. Arguments against include the claim that it could cost consumers “up to $400 per year” and that it exempts certain classes of food arbitrarily. The proponents of the measure have received millions of dollars in funding from organic and “natural” food companies, groups, and Mercola, while the opposition has received tens of millions of dollars in funding from biotechnology companies and food manufacturers.

While support for the measure was initially ahead of the opposition by 2 to 1, in the last month it has come down to a statistical dead heat with 44% for, and 42% against.

We’ve heard lots of debate about this proposition this year, but our blog readers often think about these issues in ways that most people do not. I will be interviewing Stacy Malkan from the Yes on 37 campaign, and Kathy Fairbanks from the No on 37 campaign. I’ll have a couple good questions for either side, but here is your chance to ask one of those great questions that I know you have on your mind! The interviews will be conducted separately during the day on Monday, and will be posted by Tuesday morning.

Update Monday 10-29 10:00 pm: The interview with Stacy Malkan has been conducted, and I had to reschedule the interview with Kathy Fairbanks for Tuesday morning. Shortly after, both will be posted to the web as one show for everyone to enjoy. Check back later!

Update Tuesday 10-30 midnight: Both interviews have been conducted, and the show has been edited together with an introduction and conclusion. The files are being generated right now as both a full-length show as well as broken apart into chunks. They will be available online first thing Wednesday morning.

Update Wednesday: The interviews are up!

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Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.