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California Voters To Weigh Genetically Modified Food Labels

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genetically- modified potatoe in the plant science headquarter of German chemical firm BASF in Limburgerhof, western Germany. The world's top chemicals firm said on January 16, 2012 it was halting the development and marketing of new genetically-modified products destined for the European market over concerns in some countries over the technology. (credit: ULI DECK/AFP/Getty Images)

genetically- modified potatoe in the plant science headquarter of German chemical firm BASF in Limburgerhof, western Germany. The world’s top chemicals firm said on January 16, 2012 it was halting the development and marketing of new genetically-modified products destined for the European market over concerns in some countries over the technology. (credit: ULI DECK/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California voters are set to decide whether to require special labels for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Advocates collected more than half a million signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. It was certified by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Monday.

The vote will be a closely-watched test of consumer attitudes about the merits of genetically engineered crops.

Supporters say if the measure passes, it will be the first law nationwide to require labeling of such a wide range of GMO foods. It would require most processed foods by 2014 to bear a label informing consumers that they contain ingredients derived from plants whose DNA was manipulated.

Meat and dairy foods would not need to be labeled even if the animals are fed with genetically engineered grains. Opponents have criticized that exemption.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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