GMO Labeling on California Ballot (Maui Vision)

On November 6, Californians will vote on an issue both critical and unique to all Americans: labeling GMO foods. We are one of the only industrialized nations that does not disclose this information. Europe, China, and Japan all require disclosure of GMO levels over 1 percent. If Proposition 37 passes, it would be a huge step forward for consumers who either don’t want to eat GMO food or want to know what they’re eating.
Unfortunately, Prop 37 suffers from a funding problem. Big business – including big “organic” – has raised $23.5 million to fight Prop 37, whereas less than $3 million has been raised in support of it. With genetically modified ingredients in most store-bought brands, including many organic products and most baby foods, the opposition is not surprising.
The Cornucopia Institute released a fact sheet revealing the multitude of organic brands (many under the umbrella of a corporate parent) that gave thousands of dollars to fight GMO labeling; the list includes Naked Juice, Horizon Organic, Odwalla, and R.W. Knudsen. Monsanto donated $4.2 million.
Kashi, Morningstar, and Gardenburger (all under the umbrella of Kellogg) and Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and Lärabar (all owned by General Mills) have together donated over $1 million to block the labeling of GMOs. It is likely that the original creators of these organic and natural brands would completely support labeling GMO foods. However, this is the result of selling (out) to companies such as Kellogg, General Mills or Dean Foods. Huge companies use the profits of small organics to fight against the very things they once stood for.
On the bright side, Nutiva, Lundberg, Eden, Nature’s Path, Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One,” and Straus Organics have given significant amounts to support Proposition 37. Personally, I fully support companies that endorse labeling foods containing GMOs.
See the complete issue of the October/November Maui Vision Magazine here.