On the November ballot in California is a proposed law to require labelling of genetically modified foods.
This article in USA Today brought up an important exception to the law:
If passed, the law would take effect July 1, 2014, requiring that all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled "Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering" or "May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering."
Exceptions: alcohol and food sold in restaurants. Animals that are fed genetically altered food, and are then eaten by humans, are also exempt.
This wasn't clear to me- is it "alcohol and food sold in restaurants" or "alcohol" and "food sold in restaurants"?
I looked up the language of the initiative. It is here as a PDF file. The relevant language is that the exception is for:
Any alcoholic beverage that is subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act,
set forth in Division 9 (commencing with section 23000) of the Business and
So I think that means all booze, whether or not it is served in a restaurant.
I was wondering about the reason for the exception. I'd like to know the real logic behind it, but it is in line with the other exception for animals that have eaten GMO foods. Yeast consume the raw materials and produce alcohol, so I guess that's the same thing as cows eating GMO corn.
Whatever the logic for the animal-and-yeast exception, it results in alcohol not being labelled as made with GMO ingredients.
And as I mentioned previously, the government won't allow spirit brands to optionally label their products as GMO-free either.