Monsanto Wins Proposition 37 Battle

Big agriculture, including Monsanto and DuPont, spent $46 million in advertising to successfully convince citizens to vote against Propsition 37 and the fight to label genetically engineered ingredients.

| November 7, 2012

  • Cornucopia Institute Logo
    The positive outcome of the David and Goliath battle is that many organic companies' true colors have been exposed via their support, or lack thereof, for proposition 37.
    Photo Courtesy of The Cornucopia Institute

  • Cornucopia Institute Logo

After a deluge of allegedly misleading advertisements paid for in large part by pesticide and biotechnology corporations, California voters defeated Proposition 37, which would have given them the right–to-know whether the foods they buy at the grocery store contain genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs). 

With 95% of the vote counted, according to the California Secretary of State's office, the proposal was defeated 53-47%.

"Genetically engineered foods found on market shelves have most commonly been altered in a lab to either be resistant to being sprayed by large amounts of toxic herbicides, or to produce, internally, their own insecticide," explains Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute. 

 "Corporations that produce both the genetically engineered crops and their designer pesticides, in concert with the multi-billion-dollar food manufacturers that use these ingredients, fought this measure tooth and nail, throwing $46 million at the effort that would have required food manufacturers to include informational labeling on GMO content on their packaging," Kastel added.



 Many food activists nationwide looked to the California initiative as "the last best hope" for GMO labeling in this country.  Such labeling is required throughout Europe, and by scores other countries worldwide.  In the US, polls indicate that over 90% of citizens support labeling and the right to choose if they have not been deluged by misleading advertisements paid for by biotechnology corporations.  But both Republicans and Democrats in Washington have been unwilling to address the issue, likely due to massive campaign contributions from the biotechnology and agribusiness lobbies.  

 The failure of Proposition 37 does not leave consumers completely in the dark about genetically engineered (GE) foods, since foods without GE ingredients are already widely available and clearly carry the USDA "organic" seal.  Federal law prohibits the use of GE seed or ingredients in any product labeled "organic."






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