Chemical and Agribusiness Interests Defeat California’s Proposition 37

Picture: Public Domain

How do markets work on uninformed and unenlightened self interest?  Via Consumers Union:

California’s Proposition 37, which would have required clear labels on genetically engineered food, was defeated following a $45 million opposition campaign financed by chemical and agribusiness industry opponents. Supporters of the measure pledged to continue their campaign to enact labeling requirements for genetically engineered food despite the setback in California.

“Californians and all Americans deserve the right to know what’s in their food,” said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “Unfortunately, Proposition 37 was defeated by a wildly deceptive smear campaign financed by Monsanto, DuPont, and other industry opponents of the public’s right to know. In the end, opponents of Proposition 37 didn’t want Californians to be able to make informed decisions about whether to buy food that had been genetically engineered.”

Consumers Union endorsed Proposition 37 and has long supported efforts at the federal and state level to require labeling of genetically engineered food. A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its genetic material artificially altered in a laboratory. Genetic material may be added from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce a desired change in the plant or animal. Fifty countries already require labeling of genetically engineered food, including all of Europe, Japan, India, Brazil, Korea, and China.

Genetically engineered food has not been proven to be safe, and definitive long-term health studies have not been conducted. While Europe, Australia, and Japan require premarket safety assessments like the safety evaluations required for the approval of new food additives, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies for genetically engineered foods.

Various environmental problems associated with genetic engineering have been documented, including an overall increase in pesticide use, the emergence of superweeds that are threatening millions of acres of farmland, and the unintentional contamination of non-GMO and organic crops.

Read more at Consumers Union

  • honu

    Living in California I can say that the business interests poured alot of money into defeating Prop 37. They had adverts with a doctor (?) who would tell you not to vote for it. The primary meme against Prop 37 was that it would cost people more money, I guess because it would cost companies money to label their goods which they would pass on to the public. Uh huh. It was a big smoke screen blitz by Monsanto and others and they succeeded. Amongst the people who have a basic understanding about gmo vs. non gmo food were shocked when it failed to pass. I’m still trying to figure out exactly why people chose to vote it down.

    • Matt Staggs

      I’ve never understood that logic. Isn’t it worth a few extra cents per purchase to know what you’re buying? Same thing with the economy: Keeping manufacturing jobs at home will cost more! Well, that’s fine. I’ll happily cede a few bucks here and there knowing that it’ll help employ a countryman.

      • asshurtmacfags

        Agreed, I don’t believe this was a legitimate vote. Who the fuck doesn’t want to know what’s in their food? Who would vote no on that?

        • Andrew

          Food addicts.

  • DeepCough

    The only sound solution to this is to never buy produce from a supermarket ever again.

    • kowalityjesus

      Trader Joe’s our saving grace; no GMOs, no MSG! German owned, same company as Aldi believe it or not.

  • d00d

    People watch the 5 oclock news for a half hour and think since they watched a commercial that they know all they need to know. They feel educated and empowered, when all they are is programmed. I can believe it. That IS what happened.

    GMO’s need to be pulled back in now, Monsanto needs to be taken to task of cleaning up their mess NOW! Not later. NOW!

  • BuzzCoastin

    I don’t believe people are stupid enough to vote clear labeling down.

    And it only took $45 million to convince people
    that they don’t need to know about what’s in the food their eating.
    I’m not buyin it for a minute.

    If this is true and people are really
    that stupid & easily duped, as this seems to indicate,
    then there is absolfuckinglutly no chance of reform in the US.

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