DIY







Big Ag Drops Mega-Millions to Fight GM Labeling

Organic and Natural brands owned by Big Food among those contributing to fight California's Prop. 37 on November ballot.

| August 16, 2012

Editors' note: We reprint this press release with permission from the Cornucopia Institutein its entirety, because the issue of labeling foods made from genetically modified ingredients is so important. If you think the question isn't important, look at the numbers: Big Ag and Big Food have already spent more than $23 million to persuade Californians to vote 'no' on Prop. 37 in November.  Click on the image to enlarge for easier readability. 

CORNUCOPIA, WI: Proposition 37, a citizen's initiative on the ballot on November 6 in California, would mandate clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. It has become a battleground pitting consumer and farmer advocates against multi-billion-dollar agribusiness corporations.

Recent polling indicates almost 70 percent of citizens support informational labeling. And a flood of new contributions to fight the measure has rolled in from the biotechnology industry and food manufacturers, totaling over $23 million, according to the California Secretary of State. This dwarfs the approximately $3 million contributed by proponents of GE labeling.

“Consumers might be surprised to find out that brands hiding under 'natural' façades are, in fact. owned by multi-billion-dollar corporations that are contributing bushel baskets of cash to defeating Proposition 37,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Director of Farm and Food Policy at The Cornucopia Institute.

Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food in California is viewed as a watershed event by many industry observers, as many companies will find it logistically or economically difficult to produce foods with labels identifying GE for California while producing a different product line of foods for the rest of the country.



"Just as we've observed in Europe, where labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is mandatory, we fully expect that when given a choice, consumers will choose organic or non-GMO products," said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of Wisconsin-based Cornucopia. "And the industrial food lobby is fully cognizant of this — that's why they're fighting like hell against this grassroots effort."

To make it easier for shoppers to identify and support organic brands whose corporate owners support Proposition 37, and avoid buying brands owned by companies that financially contributed to opposing the “Right to Know” campaign, The Cornucopia Institute has developed a guide for consumers.

"If the food and biotech industries are so proud of their pervasive genetically manipulated crops, why are they so afraid, and so desperately opposed to labeling it?" asked Arran Stephens, founder of Nature's Path, North America's largest certified organic cereal and granola brand with manufacturing plants in the US and Canada.






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