Note: While we (at the Liberty Crier) want to spread information about the dangers of GMO’s and while we do support labeling of GMO’s, we do not ultimately advocate government regulation of GMO labeling. When the government is given the power to regulate the corporations seek to corrupt the government, and the corporations inevitably win. The free market, free from government corruption, can provide better labeling systems (through competition) that will offer consumers much more value than anything the government could ever provide.
President Obama was not the only big winner on Tuesday: the Monsanto Co. and the billion-dollar business behind genetically modified foods were victorious in California, where a measure that would’ve required the labeling of GMOs lost at the polls.
Proposition 37, a state-wide initiative that aimed to increase consumer awareness about the food industry’s growing use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was defeated by a margin of 53 to 47 percent, with nearly all of the polls accounted for Wednesday morning.
Had Prop 37 been approved, foods containing GMOs would have been mandated to make the fact clear on the product’s label. If passed, the law would have meant most processed foods would be forced to include notes to consumers that they were “partially produced with genetic engineering” or “may be partially produced with genetic engineering” by 2014. Additionally, the words “genetically engineered” would be required to appear on packaging as well.
The Missouri-based Monsanto Company, an international leader in agricultural biotechnology and a proponent of GMO use, dumped millions of dollars into a campaign that opposed the ballot measure — a maneuver that many are saying was singlehandedly responsible for swinging the vote.
“Vote No,” a campaign waged against the proposition, was funded with at least $45 million worth of contributions from some of the biggest businesses in the industry that feared mandatory labeling would have cast a dark cloud over their products, pushing consumers away from purchasing items that have to identify GMO use. Although much research has found no conclusive proof that GMOs are directly hazardous to the health of humans, the relatively immature technology has attracted a fair share of skepticism by activists, scientists and agricultural experts who fear not enough testing has been done to show how safe those products are. Despite a grassroots effort from those behind Prop 37 to push for public awareness, supporters failed to compete with the grossly funded “Vote No” campaign, coming up with only $8 million they managed to garner in backing.
The “Vote No” campaign’s biggest supporter was Monsanto, who threw more than $8 million themselves into efforts to defeat the measure. Dupont, Pepsico, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta were also big funders of the opposition, each contributing at least $2 million a piece.