California’s Proposition 37, GMO Labeling Mandate, Earns Support of Haute Chefs LA Founder
Los Angeles Celebrity Chef Jeffrey Nimer has added his name to the Chefs’ Petition in Support
of Prop 37, an initiative to label genetically-engineered foods, or GMOs. More than 300 celebrity
chefs have pledged their support of California’s GMO labeling ballot initiative Proposition 37 in a
strongly worded open letter written by Alice Water, a well-known chef, activist, and the founder
of the organic food movement.
California’s Proposition 37 – The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act – will be
on the ballot November 6, and chefs from all over the country are joining in their support
of the movement. More than 300 chefs have co-signed their names in what Alice Waters
argues is “the future of food” and “the moment where we need to stand together as chefs,
restaurateurs, and people who care about food to support Proposition 37.” Along with other
celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali, Jacques Pepin, Dan Barber, and Floyd Cardoz, Los
Angeles Chef Jeffrey Nimer has added his name in support.
Genetically-engineered foods, or GMOs, have higher crop yields, as well as a longer shelf life,
allowing them to be shipped to farther destinations. While genetically-engineered food has
been present in the industry during the past 18 years, there is a lack of long-term studies on
potential health hazards associated with their consumption. Numerous organizations, such as
Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, have advocated for further testing before the approval
of more GMOs to prevent possible health complications, and now a host of American chefs
have added their names in support.
Celebrity Chef Jeffrey Nimer of Haute Chefs LA said it is important for Californians to become
educated on genetically-engineered foods to better understand what they are eating.
“The U.S. does a lot of experimenting on these ‘Frankenfoods’ and we don’t have sufficient
information to know what these foods will do to our bodies,” said Nimer. “For those who oppose
[Prop 37] they should know it’s simply a label and not a ban of GMOs.”
Opponents of Prop 37 have said that the labeling will pander to unjustified fears and raise
grocery bills. According to official figures, opponents of Prop 37 have raised $34 million in a
massive publicity campaign backed by agro-chemical and agro-food giants, such as Coca
Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg, and Heinz. The biggest contributor to the campaign against Prop 37
is Monsanto, having given $7.1 million and claiming that the move is aimed at “stigmatizing
modern food production.”
The American Medical Association (AMA) has stated that there is no scientific justification for
special labeling of bioengineered foods and that labeling GMO foods has no purpose, unless
it is accompanied by consumer education. AMA said that there are many potential benefits of
GMO food and encourages ongoing research developments in food biotechnology.
However, defenders of Prop 37, such as Nimer, have said that supporting Prop 37 is simply
about freedom of information.
“As a chef, it’s particularly important to know what goes in our food when we are feeding other
people,” said Nimer. “It’s important that the food system is honest and reliable.”
Stacy Malkan, Spokeswoman of the organization Yes to Prop 37, said that GMO labeling has
been an ongoing effort for the past decade.
“Now, 61 countries have labeling laws for GMOs… much of the genetic engineering is
happening in the US, we’re the experimental ground for GMOs. And the experiment is not going
well,” said Malkan, in a statement.
To read the Chefs’ petition in its entirety, visit http://www.carighttoknow.org/chefs_petition.
Haute Chefs LA, established by Owner and Executive Chef Jeffrey Nimer in 2005, is a premier
Los Angeles based catering company in high demand for Hollywood’s elite. Chef Nimer
champions bold, modern and exquisite culinary arts combined with the best service to offer
a scrumptious menu for any occasion. With his classic French training and collaboration with
many talented and renowned chefs, Chef Nimer has received numerous awards and recognition
as a world class facilitator of diverse, inspired services. Haute Chefs offers personal chef
services, catering, restaurant consulting and cooking classes and is pleased to accommodate
exacting requests to create a breathtaking culinary affair.