Proposition 37 is a California initiative calling for the labeling of all GMOs in food and other products (if you don’t know what GMOs are, or why it’s such a big deal, take a quick peek here).
There is the Yes on 37 campaign, as well as the No on 37 campaign, both, obviously attempting to sway California voters in the November elections. Those in favor of labeling demand that we know what goes into our food. We should know what’s in our food, especially because of the dangers of GMOs and health problems we’re already experiencing today. Those against labeling claim that it will cost an exorbitant amount of money (which would be passed on to California consumers) to implement and could increase lawsuits against smaller farms and companies.
WELL WHAT SHOULD I THINK?
While products prices and lawsuits may or may not increase, the passing of this proposition will influence labeling all across the country. Companies won’t bother with different packaging for California alone, and since there it would become a requirement, the rest of the country will end up benefitting from the knowledge and education of knowing what’s in our food.
The biggest tip off of all is who is behind all of the money that’s going to each campaign. As of this posting, Mercola Health Resources has donated $1.1 million in favor of the campaign, followed by $684k from the Organic Consumers Fund and $610k from Nature’s Path Foods (which is actually a Canadian company; they just happen to do a lot of their production in the US). Other key supporters include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Amy’s Kitchen, Clif Bar, Annie’s, and Late July Organic Snacks. Whole Foods recently announced their support, as well.
Who’s opposing the proposition? Monsanto takes the lead, having donated $7.1 million. They are followed closely by DuPont (an American chemical company) with $4 million, PepsiCo with $1.7 million, and Coca Cola, with $1.1 million. Others include General Mills, Kellogg, Hershey, Smuckers, the Council for Biotechnology Information, Ocean Spray, Sara Lee, Dean Foods, Campbell Coup, Mars, Land O’Lakes, and Heinz.
SHOULDN’T ALL ORGANIC BRANDS BE BEHIND IT?
They should, however, follow the money and see where it leads. Many well-known organic companies are parented by the organizations that are funding the campaign against the proposition. An infographic that the Cornucopia Institute put out early in the campaigning shows who really belongs to who:
Credit: The Cornucopia Institute
It’s unclear where the organic companies themselves stand and/or how they are fighting against their parent companies (Brand Channel had a good article on the situation).
THE QUESTION REMAINS
If there is nothing wrong with GMOs, then why are companies so heavily against this proposition? Why do other countries in the rest of the world highly regulate (and sometimes even ban) GMO products (as seen in the below infographic)?
Want your voice heard? Join the Yes to 37 campaign and make a difference!
Prop 37 Cheat Sheet