Have you ever wondered who possibly may oppose the passage of Prop 37 in California requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in retail grocery stores? Well, it was made apparent earlier this spring who was going to be leading the opposition when the Stop the Costly Labeling Act group was formed. (They have since then changed their name to No on 37 or Stop The Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme.) From the start, this opposition group was clearly funded by the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
In fact, Pamela Bailey, president of Grocery Manufacturers Association stated in a speech on July 9, 2012 to the American Soybean Association that... “[The California Ballot Initiative to label genetically engineered food is] a serious, long-term threat to the viability of agricultural biotechnology. Defeating the Initiative is GMA’s single highest priority this year.”
Recently, there has been an influx of monetary campaign contributions coming in from many of the 300 plus companies who are members of the GMA. These are the corporations and companies that are trying to keep you in the dark, from knowing if the foods you are purchasing and feeding your families contain genetically engineered ingredients. Think about that for a second. These companies claim that GMOs are safe, but yet they do not want them labeled. What is there to hide?
As of 7/31/12 this is the list of current contributions to defeat Prop 37: Council for Biotechnology Information $375,000; Biotechnology Industry Organization $250,000; Grocery Manufacturers Association $375,000; Pioneer H-Bred International - a Dupont Business $310,100; BASF Plant Science $126,600; Syngenta Corporation $63,300; PEPSICO Inc. $90,220.06; Coca-Cola North America $61,208.55; Bimbo Bakeries USA $17,783.28; Nestle´ USA, Inc. $61,471.39; Cargill Inc. $6,584.36; Kellogg Company $33,248.37; Rich Products Corporation $7,343.23; The J.M. Smucker Company $12,371.58; Conagra Foods $56,598.46; Hormel Foods Corporation $19,675.68; Campbell Soup Company $5,340.56; Dean Foods Company $5,424.94; Del Monte Foods Company $14,400.28; General Mills, Inc. $19,401.17; Hershey Company $8,440.22; The J.M. Smucker Company $8,024.26; McCormick & Company Inc. $5,302.10; Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. $7,735.265; Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC $5.684.49; Sara Lee Corporation $7,340.06; Richelieu Foods, Inc. $165,80; Solae, LLC $1,992.84; Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company $3,933.08; Morton Salt $682.35; C.H. Geunther & Son, Inc. $787.57; Sunny Delight Beverages Company $3,156.67; Knouse Foods Cooperative, Inc. $4,422.52; McCain Foods USA, Inc. $1,702.69; and Inventure Foods, Inc. $497.41. As of Tuesday, Aug. 14 another $25 million has been submitted in addition to above figures.
Visit the state website http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov and search for ‘No on 37’ to see a list of current monetary contributions to defeat Prop 37. With the list above in mind, vote with your dollar every time you shop. Every time you shop you cast a vote for the world you would like to see and be a part of.
I encourage each and every one of you who will be voting on November 6, to look at who is for Prop 37 and who is against it. You will see for yourself that big business whose only concern is their bottom line profit is lining up to oppose it.
And you even may discover that some of these corporations that are telling us that GMOs are safe are the same ones that told us that DDT and Agent Orange were safe. (One can only wonder if perhaps we are going down that same path with GMOs... to only find out in 10-20 years...)
Many of these foreign U.S. companies sell in countries that require or restrict genetically engineered ingredients, but are somehow able to comply with the countries requirements. Some of these companies have a formulation without GMOs for the countries that ban them. Others have labeling for countries that require that. Why not label here in the U.S.? It appears that there is already a system set up to easily do so in these other countries.
Poll after poll shows that 90% of Americans would like to see genetically engineered foods labeled. Almost 50 countries around the world require some sort of labeling. This request is our basic fundamental right to know what we are eating and feeding our families. We must stand up for this right. This November in California is our best chance to stand up as individuals, as mothers, fathers, farmers, and concerned citizens and demand that we have the same right that so many others around the world have.
The focus of passing Prop 37 in California is simply to allow each of us the freedom of choice. Plain and simple; we are just asking for labeling. It is our right to know.
Please stand strong with me, California. Do this for yourself, do it for the children. Do it for the planet. Join me and vote yes on Prop 37.
Co-leader SoHum Label GMOs