Who's Funding Prop 37, Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods?

Prop 37 would require many foods sold in California to be specially labeled if they were "made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways," according to the California's official ballot summary. Although several foods will be exempt for a variety of reasons, calling some genetically changed products "natural" will not be allowed. For all the details, read our Prop 37 Cheat Sheet.

SUPPORTERS

OPPONENTS
Credit: Database developed by Brian Frank. Additional reporting by Daniel Medina.

Top Photo: Chiot's Run/Flickr/Creative Commons License

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What a surprise... all of the biotechnoloy companies and food manufacturers who produce this unnatural food are against it. Consumers have a RIGHT to know and to decide if they want to eat or not eat genetically engineered food! Instead of counting your dollars at the expense of your consumers, try being transparent and truthful for once.

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For those that really care about GMO ingredients in their foods, there are plenty of ways to find out. The labeling of non-GMO is another way to charge a premium, much like products labeled as organic. If we examine the main supporters of this proposition, one can easily see that they are the companies that already charge a premium for their products based on their organic and non-GMO labeling. They want prop. 37 to succeed in order to force their competitors to spend more money on labeling.

But the main question is why is proposition 37 necessary at all? If the public in general were really interested in only non-GMO foods, manufacturers would be more than willing to label, sell and charge a premium for these products. However, the public really doesn't care about GMO vs. non-GMO. What they care about is price. If and individual did care, there are many non-GMO products from which to choose. If it's not labeled non-GMO, just assume it is GMO. We don't need Proposition 37.

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It's embarrassing how poor some people's comprehension skills are. Presenting them facts and they call you a liar. Maybe I can spell it out a little better.

Want GMO free foods? Look for "non-GMO" label
No "non-GMO" label? Assume it is a GMO product

The major downfall that's expected from Prop 37 is the taxation it will bring. The money that the government will say it needs to "enforce" this legislation. In addition to being poorer, the consumer will have to face basic economics of supply and demand for non-GMO products. Odds are, the consumer will get what they wanted, to know exactly which products are GMO, but then will be faced with the irony of not being able to afford it.

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I am responding to the absolutely blatant lies of previous commenter rwirth. Unless you have educated yourself to the degree with which you understand and know exactly what every single ingredient in every single product on the shelf in every single store you shop in, then you will NEVER have the slightest idea what you are putting into you and your family's body. This hysterical yet caustic lie that rwirth proposes deceitfully claiming that the only reason to do so is to raise prices is such an intensely cheap lie. His deceit collapses in upon itself as he continues: why claim right here, right now, while on this very page where everyone can see exactly who supports and who opposes labeling, that manufacturers would be more than willing to label, and CHARGE A PREMIUM(REALLY!!!) for GMO frankenfood, when as you can see for yourself that it is the MANUFACTURERS AND GROCERS who OPPOSE your right to know what they are selling you. The public cares intensely about GMO, as the myriad of lawsuits from countries across the globe fight the very same companies listed here in opposition to you knowing what it is they are sneaking into your food. India (over 100,000 deaths from GMO food), Brazil actively shutting down all GMO frankenfood from the companies listed in the opposition column here. All over Europe the public is forcing government to ban GMO. GMO has nothing to do with price whatsoever. The only question that should be asked is why GMO is allowed in virtually every single item you buy and eat without your knowledge? You have every RIGHT to know what you are eating.

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Thank you Mark...rwirth is wrong and likely one of the paid writers/bloggers from Monsanto or like company. Part of the $28 million being raised is being used for that purpose. A paycheck for your morals and obligations as a human being. It's that obvious rwirth...or you're simply not that bright and should refrain from commenting on something that you know nothing about.

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Love your comment Mark - and I bet Greg's right about rwirth being a "paid Monsanto blogger". Great to see this info out there!

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I was interested to see that "Dr" Mercola is supporting the proposition from Chicago. "Dr" Mercola is a well known crackpot trying to peddle his "health" products. If I'm not mistaken, he has been under hack by the FDA on numerous occasions for making blatant lies about health products. It might warrant another look at what is said about him in Wiki.
Consider the sources on both sides of this issue.

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Well, anytime someone is selling something, you might have to take what they say with a grain of salt. But saying Mercola is invalid because the FDA has been hassling him makes no sense at all. The FDA is the cause of many problems we face in this country. If you know anything about the history of the FDA, then you understand. If not, there are plenty of sources online.

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I wonder why Monsanto and its ilk feel they have to spend so much money on Prop37 if their shoddy goods were really good for people??
It sounds to me like the same old stuff - make money at any price of the people's health.

They have already shown they don't care with their wide use of HFCS.
I, for one, want to see all GMO foods labeled as such.

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The problem is more complicated now because we, the consumers, are behind the game plan designed and played out by the biotech companies and their minions like those farmer organizations and mega-food companies.

We've been deceived for so long we don't even know which end is up. The consumers have been conditioned to accept poisons for so long that toxic foods grow in our culture. Today we have sick people as a result of these toxic foods. Corporations care less about our health or our lives. They just want money - lots of it. People behind companies like Monsanto are too evil to be considered humans.

So, I guess the consumers would have to be learn the hard way: they would have to get sick and go bankrupt because of the rip-off medical system before they wake up. But then it'd be too late. So, a smart thing to do is to use common sense: Unnatural processed foods are NOT good for human consumption. The other question we should ask is would the executives of those evil companies feed their own children with the same poisons they feed the public with?

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I am so tired of seeing the FDA and the USDA be nothing more than the lobby for agribusiness and the likes of Monsanto. It's also interesting so see the manufacturers of various food and drink items that use "high fructose corn sweetener" that would now have to label their products as GMO and potentially lose some market share. A new story should be the "Wizard of Food" and the wizard behind the curtain isn't really a wizard at all, it's Monsanto!

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First, the 100,000 deaths of farmers referred to is due to suicide, not genetically modified (GM) food. (The last figure I heard was 150,000 by the way) The farmers were grossly in debt and saw no way out. When India opened its markets to competition and GM food, the price of food went down, and the cost for Indian production exceeded what they could sell it for....and many farmers went into debt. GM seeds also cost more. Debt has now been forgiven for small farmers by the goverment of India, but not for larger farms. It was the gov't policies that caused the debt for these poor farmers and not the consumption of GM foods. Secondly, there is a trade off. Many GM foods are resistent to fungus and insects and hence less pesticides and the like need to be used. This means less runoff into streams and water tables. Higher yields are also a reality meaning more food, less cost, and more people may be fed. There are some unknowns....like if a pest bites a GM plant and doesn't die...will a superpest be created that is not resistent. It is not known at this point, but there is no evidence GM foods have directly killed people from consumption at this point. GM foods have been around since 1994 in American when a tomato was available. There are always trade offs.

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GMO's do not cause less toxic run off, that would be organically grown foods. The GM seeds are created to be Round-up ready so in reality, GM foods cause more toxic run off. Also I would encourage you to look at which way the cancer rate has gone since 1994.

Even if you choose to ignore the obvious facts that GM foods are dangerous there is no realistic reason not to label them.

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Vote for prop 37 YES
Make a list of the companies that are fighting this and don't buy their products.
Let your family and friends know what you are doing and why.
Being a caring and responsible citizen is way too important. Now, More than Ever.

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http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/37/title-summary.htm

Everyone should read the summary to Prop 37, carefully. Pay especially close attention to exemptions and fiscal impact.

The idea shared by many is reasonable, but the legislation has major flaws. If this piece of legislation passes, I predict there will be a food crisis in the state of California, and many will either starve or be forced, knowingly, to consume GMO food products. There are less destructive methods if there are those willing to explore such methods.

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im not from california so my opinion really matters not; but for the sake of a decent discussion i will post my opinion. hope that's ok.

firstly im against prop 37. this does not mean im against food labeling. its that the burden of labeling is being misplaced as so it has the highest possible cost, effects the most businesses, and creates a really bass-ackwards labeling system.

since the vast majority of all things grocery are conventionally grown, it would be much easier for the organic companies to be mandated to label their products as containing less than .5 percent genetically modified ingredients. if they insist on growing by less efficient means, and making a much higher profit margin, and they are so proud of this, then the labels should fall on them. it effects far less, it could be a badge of honor for their foods; not an unnecessary eyesore on the label, and a catch for marketing their high priced boutique items.

i believe laws should effect the least amount of folks as possible. we have enough government intrusion already. and this would have the exact same effect only be less of a burden. and the reality is the vast majority of consumers already know there is gmo in the food. no need to preach to the choir.

in short, the label should be put where it belongs; on foods containing less than .5% gm ingredients. in this way it creates the badge of honor for the gmo and eliminates the fear mongering that comes from the reverse. everyone wins.

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oops! sorry for the double post and there is an error;

"in this way it creates the badge of honor for the gmo and eliminates the fear mongering that comes from the reverse. "
should read:
"in this way it creates the badge of honor for the organics and eliminates the fear mongering that comes from the reverse. "

sorry for any inconvenience.

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I guess there is no better time to address Prop 37 than now. Changes in eating habits, growing your own fruit, vines, roots and herbs to provide a better meal, more choices of meats and seafood available giving greater benefits to ourselves, means it educates us to what taste better, we know what goes into a meal, and what is better and best to have. As a grown up I can do this, many can't. Anyone who desires to have a better life, or those who are just born and must rely on an adult to give them the good food of life.............we all want the best. Restaurants make sacrafices in making meals that we will enjoy. Realigning of menu
dishes and using the best products around....is a safeguard to us.
You want the best, you pay for your wants. You read about what you want to eat, at home, or at a restaurant. You want to feel safe what you are serving.......You make the decision to read what is out there, you must do this if you care. We care about ourselves,
FDHA, Federal Agencies putting stamps on products, or allows information without question the way a product is titled, or maybe missed information, should be working for us. While farmers, companies, packaging distributors, and products packed to insure that , the buyer, parent, homeowner, chef to a food product manufacture, knows what a product is. Transparency, honesty and "money" have gone by the wayside. Saying "YES" now means other agencies know what has not been done....and it has to be done for all of us. Don't wait for a problem, do it NOW.

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If labeling salt content is required, why not labeling food with foreign DNA injected into it? It's a label.

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Hey! We need those labels! China has them! China.... I hear an argument about people don't care what they eat as long as its cheap. Wow. I got tired of explaining what a gmo is to people. Poor folks have no idea what it is or that it even exists and I'm in San Francisco, we are in the forefront of this labeling movement. Then you should see the faces they make when they find out they have been eating it since the nineties and its all in the cupboards. We should start teaching kids in schools how to read nutrition labels, so we can better fight obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Or maybe, lets not label anything, cause no one cares, cause its cheap!

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I've been living in France for three years, where GMO's are considered poison, and here's something to think about: I've never met a single person here with a food allergy. Except tourists. When visiting Americans (and Anglos from other GMO-heavy cultures like Australia, Britain) come into restaurants with their lists of "can't-eats" (gluten/wheat products, nuts, parsley, corn, eggs, seafood; lactose, on and on), the waiters often look at each other in complete disbelief, sometimes gesturing, "This is crazy!" behind their backs. A few entrepreneurial foreigners, seeing the need, have launched "gluten-free" eateries in Paris and guess who their major clientele is: American tourists. In France, and other European countries, the very concept of eating foods that are genetically engineered is "taking your life into your own hands": we'll realize what the long term effects of these foods are when it's too late. Btw I'm fascinated that Monsanto prohibits GMO foods in its cafeterias for its workers.

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Looks like big business wins this battle, but they won't win the war. This proposition has taken the wool over many people's eyes. I know for a fact more people know what a gmo is now. I do a bit of traveling and love to eat the food abroad, I digest much better, it's fresher and not so tainted. Gmo is a monopoly, gmo seeds are expensive, then you have to buy the herbicide/pesticide from the same company. You can't use left over seed from last crop, you must buy new, farmers get sued all the time, seeds are patented. Pesticide runoff in our water, resistant super weeds and resistant bugs, nature finds a way to evolve. Cows cannot eat corn for more than 150 days, they get sick and get tumors and die. They need nutrition from grass, their meat has no nutrients, lacks healthy fatty omegas. But corn is cheap (gmo), fast food takes ebt (cheap gmo). More expensive to buy a salad than a cheeseburger because these cows come from cafos eating a frankencorn concoction and it is so cheap to stack these animals ontop of eachother feeding them this mess that will kill them if they dont get antibiotics. They stand in their own tainted feces. Poor people have what choice? They don't even know what gmo is........ It is damn near impossible to have a diet free of gmo. Corn and soy is in everything!!!!!!!

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If there was only a 585,464 vote deficit hindering the passage of Prop 37 and there are still 3,334,495 uncounted votes, then someone PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME IN PLAIN ENGLISH WHY THIS IS CONSIDERED A SOUND DEFEAT? I really would like to know.

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Want to avoid GMO foods, avoid purchasing processed foods sold by opponents of proposition 37. Obviously they have something to hide.

Of course, they aren't alone. That's why I also look for the label of the Non-GMO Project for verified non GMO's inside a particular product. It may be imperfect, but it is better than nothing, while we are funding another ballot initiative to try again.

For a first attempt, the founders of California Right to Know did a remarkable job considering the vast amount of dirty money contributed by the opposition. I need to start saving earlier to support California voters to pass the mandatory labeling and right to know of GMO's in food. This is because we cannot go to drugs to reduce the side effects of intensive herbicide spraying from GMO agriculture.

Most physicians do not know how to diagnose pesticide poisoning because the symptoms or clinical effects are similar to others they may see every day. And, that's the same with GMO's unless there is a massive die-off as there was with the recombinant DNA in L-Tryptophan brought on by a company from Japan, with their recombinant DNA version.

Now, many dangerous pharmaceuticals contain recombinant DNA and the side effects scream at us not to take these drugs. At least, they have at me! They are some of the same side effects as occur with people who repeatedly eat GMO crap!