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Monsanto, DuPont Spend Millions to Defeat California Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Initiative

Green Lifestyle  (tags: agriculture, business, environment, garden, food, greenliving, greenproducts, organic, washing )

- 2130 days ago -
Monsanto's contribution of $4.2 million to the No on 37 campaign is more than double the $2 million that the supporters of Proposition 37 have raised in total so far.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 8:34 am
(Photo: lyzadanger; Edited: JR / TO)

With biotech giant Monsanto leading the way, big agribusiness firms and food manufacturers have vastly outspent organic food and alternative health firms in an effort to defeat California's Proposition 37 ballot initiative that would require special labels on foods made with genetically engineered (GE) organisms.

Monsanto's contribution of $4.2 million to the No on 37 campaign is more than double the $2 million that the supporters of Proposition 37 have raised in total so far. In all, big agriculture firms, food manufacturers and pro-biotech industry groups have raised $25 million to defeat Proposition 37, according to the nonpartisan group Voter's Edge California.

Chemical giant Dupont, which ranks second to Monsanto in worldwide GE seed sales, has contributed $4 million to defeat the labeling proposition. Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Nestle and the chemical and GE seed manufacturers Bayer and BASF have all contributed $1 million or more.

"These are the same companies that told us that DDT and agent orange are safe," said Stacy Malkan, spokesperson for the Yes on 37 For Your Right to Know if Your Food Has Been Genetically Engineered campaign committee.

The big food and agriculture companies are squaring off against organic food and health firms such as Nature's Path ($250,000), Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps ($290,000) and Organic Valley ($50,000)., an alternative health resource web site, tops the list with $800,000 in contributions to the Yes on 37 campaign.

Despite the vast funding disparity, recent polls suggest that a majority of Californians want to know if their food contains GE ingredients and support Proposition 37. But that won't keep the corporate food coalition from trying to sway voters in the coming months.

Malkan said the Proposition 37's big business opponents are expected to use their vast resources to bombard Californians with "deceptive" TV ads prior to the vote in November.

"I think it's about huge chemical companies trying to hide what they are doing to our food," Malkan said.

A spokesperson for the No on 37 Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme campaign did not respond to an inquiry from Truthout prior to publication. On its web site, the group claims that Proposition 37 would increase bureaucracy at the expense of taxpayers and increase food costs for consumers as food companies and farmers update their packaging and deal with lawsuits.

The stakes are high. Now that the vast majority of corn and soybeans grown in the United States are genetically engineered in some way, labeling could have a big impact on what consumers see in the grocery story. California boasts the largest population of consumers in the US, and a victory for GE food labeling there could pave the way for regulatory changes nationwide.

If foods containing GE ingredients are labeled, consumers may be more likely to buy organic and non-GE foods despite the biotechnology industry's repeated claims that GE foods are as safe as conventional foods.

GE food opponents, however, say that some studies have shown that GE foods pose health risks.

Most GE crops are genetically altered to withstand or produce pesticides and herbicides. Organics advocates and agricultural reformers say that GE mono-crop farming is unsustainable and has unfavorable environmental impacts, such as creating herbicide resistant "superweeds."

The biotech industry, however, claims GE crop technology, such as drought-resistant corn, is necessary to feed the world's growing population.
**** Go to Visit Site for additional information and internal links that support the article.

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

wolfNoFwdsPls a (135)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 10:03 am
once again: frakkkkkk monetary-ism ! may it soon (preferably before the extinction of humankind) become history.
btw: outcome of US.(presidential) elections can be predicted by the $$amount spent on the campaigns at least as accurate as by polls. (-~ Chomsky)

Arielle S (313)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 10:06 am
It's becoming a "if you don't grow it, don't eat it" kind of a world, isn't it? But this junk doesn't stay in one place either and soon the entire world will be GE-contaminated. Maybe when people are dying by the busloads and giant super bugs eat all the crops, somebody will admit this crap is bad for the entire world.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 10:46 am
We must use the power of social networking to undermine the corporate disinformation campaign. We must rouse the people of California and make them aware of the choice they face: to be duped by the lies of these toxic corporations or to take a step towards freedom of choice. If GE food products are labeled, then people can freely decide whether to purchase frankenfood or not. Everyone who can push this issue to the forefront on Facebook should do so.

Jaime Alves (52)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 3:33 pm
Not good news.

. (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 3:43 pm
It's funny you mention global contamination Arielle since my friend and I were just talking about that at work.

Azaima A (207)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 4:18 pm

Gloria picchetti (304)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 4:20 pm
This is what happens when corporations have personhood.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 5:05 pm

Jim P (3257)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 6:48 pm

I live in California and I will be voting YES on labeling, you betcha...

Ty, Kit.

Bianca D (87)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 7:36 pm
GMOs cause illness and suicide, and must be labelled! Thanks Kit.
Monsanto is no longer welcome in Maharashtra state in India:
Maharashtra State in India Revokes Monsanto’s Bt Cotton Seed License

Sandra M Z (114)
Wednesday August 22, 2012, 9:46 pm
Here is a link to who is voting with $$ on both No on 37, and who is voting Yes on 37. (copy & paste)

I was dismayed by the info on another list (I can't find right now), that shows how many organic brands are owned by companies that are voting No:(.

I'm sure glad people are taking back their food freedom. I'm going to contact an organic fruit grower in my state to ask if they will start bottling juice, so I don't have to purchase either of the two choices I have now, which are owned by Smuckers who is supporting NO on 37. I am somewhat surprised that since I have looked in the big 3 natural markets here, these 2 brands of juice seem to be almost all of the choices offered. Just Say No! to GMO foods, and food monopolies. I'd rather see lots of small family farming ops who offer MANY choices.

Noted thank you Kit.
and thank you Bianca D.for the heads up on this Maharashtra article I had missed.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 10:31 am
Money talks....but usually "with forked tongue". TU Kit. I previously saw the list of good guys and bad guys. We have never contributed anything to Monsanto's coffers and very little to the other bad guy companies. We used to buy Kashi cereal until Kellogg bought them out. We have basically been boycotting the companies trying to stop this bill for some time. However we are big supporters of Dr Bonner and Amy's Kitchen. Add into this equation boycotting Koch industries, all companies that test on animals, and everything made in China it's a real challenge, but we are finding it easier and easier to do.

paul m (93)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 2:03 pm


Devon Leonar (54)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 4:09 pm
It's so we all are (collectively speaking) poisoning ourselves as we go about our merry way.....
Why couldn't these monster company's make their trillions of dollars creating and marketing good, wholesome, life affirming products....?????
I was elated to hear in Bianca's comment that the Indian State of Maharashtra has revoked Monsanto's cotton seed license... Will they also revoke or ban other GMO based products..? Would love to know who the bright and caring individuals are who initiated this..? It gives one some hope......
Thanks so much for keeping us all up to date on this Kit !!!

catherine Buchanan (113)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 6:34 pm
go california!!!

Gloria H (88)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 7:45 pm
i just read Morning Star and Boca Burgers are also supporters of NO GMO labeling!!!!! I believe it is because they use GMO soybeans. Please correct me if I am wrong. Hanky panky in the least likely of places. :(

MmAway M (507)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 9:58 pm
Thank you Kit and great comments above!

NO GMO PERIOD! Label is imparative...but agree with Arielle...if you don't grow it, don't eat it!!

MmAway M (507)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 10:03 pm
Sadly, California had the worst voter turn out in the primary, and who ever pays the most for TV ADS, Flyers etc...Get the most votes for people who do vote now. Most people out here are so upset they just don't vote and there were important issues...I vote all the time, and make sure I know what I am voting on, if not I find out...Never pay attention to flyers, TV ads since it is my fault if something gets in I don't want...

Jessie Cross (295)
Friday August 24, 2012, 2:28 am
Thanks for this news story. Have reposted to FB and twitter.

Klaus Peters (14)
Friday August 24, 2012, 8:58 am
So, Monsanto, you are selling the USA for 4.2 million $ to GMO. You think we are all so stupid as your polititions, who except $$. Search the internet and you will find the answers to determine who is who.
Monsanto, you are the worst. I admire India for banning you, you killed too many farmers there, who suicided by eating your poisenous seeds to end their lives. They made a good living before you came along and were manipulated into your poison. They lost crop after crop until they were ruined. I hope many countries will follow, and never forget Union Carbide and Bopal. The companies who cause suffering are not human nor animal, the victims are the real world, HUMANS.

Klaus Peters (14)
Friday August 24, 2012, 9:28 am
Hey, US of A be a world citizen not a tool of Monsanto, vote for Prop. 37, it will help you and also the rest of the planet. Regain your No.1 status as a responsible nation, I rather have you as No.1 than China.

Craig Pittman (52)
Saturday August 25, 2012, 10:25 am
Let's hope Monsanto's funding for a no ballot is money down the drain.
Next steop - outlaw the use of GMOs.

Vallee R (280)
Saturday August 25, 2012, 6:51 pm
Arielle - even if we grow it there are issues - chem trails are causing fungus on my squash, bad city water that I can't even drink can't be good for the plants - Mons onto will make sure that we can't even grow our own food!

Danuta W (1250)
Thursday August 30, 2012, 2:06 am

Alan B (48)
Monday September 3, 2012, 11:14 pm

. (7)
Saturday October 13, 2012, 11:16 am
Very sad Californians don't get out and vote in high numbers, Monsanto is going to win.
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