Prop 37 presents an interesting dilemma for Californians this election season. The proposition poses whether or not genetically modified organic foods should be labeled as such. It is important to consider the funding campaigns receive, especially when donors have high stakes in the success or failure of an initiative. Agricultural biotechnology corporation, Monsanto, and Prop 37 are an interesting duo at the ballot box this election season.
In Proposition 37, the label does not prohibit the production, sale, or consumption of genetically modified foods, it merely requires that producers using genetically modified ingredients make it known to consumers.
Theoretically, the initiative should increase the cost of food in California, but the impact of Prop 37 varies, depending on the study. Regardless of the effects of the bill, a September USC poll showed Californians broadly supporting the ballot measure.
The majority of money regarding the issue has been funneled into the “No on 37” campaign, with the largest sum of cash coming from the Monsanto checkbook.
Monsanto is an agricultural biotechnology corporation known for producing genetically engineered seed. They are not new to controversy, particularly in regards to their product and their lobbying activity, and now they’ve contributed $7 millon to Prop 37’s opposition campaign.
Yet, strangely, they have actually been a vocal supporter of GMO labeling in foreign countries. This should leave California voters questioning both their intent and their products.
In the UK, Monsanto has established a hotline for consumers who would like to learn more about the genetically engineered foods they buy at the grocery. In California, we are seeing No on 37 ads intended to ‘Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme.’
For nearly a decade, the European Union has enforced laws similar to those contemplated in Proposition 37. After several years, corporations like Monsanto have supported the GMO labels in the UK, but now they are trying to block similar measures state-side.
Despite a large amount of support for the measure, it is important for voters to recognize and research the donors which fund both “No” and “Yes” campaigns.