Pamela Bailey, the President of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) said in a recent speech to the American Soybean Association that defeating California's Proposition 37 (which calls for the labeling of genetically engineered foods) this November "is the single-highest priority for GMA this year."
Bailey's comment is really no surprise, considering GMA's membership is made up of the country's largest processed and packaged food makers (PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, General Mills, etc.) which rely heavily on genetically engineered corn and soy to build the nutrient-poor foodstuffs that are such a staple of our society's diet.
The GMA has giving $375,000 to the "No on 37" campaign, according to California state filing reports. Other contributors—independent of their membership to the GMA—include Hormel Foods ($11,934.75), Conagra Foods ($34,331.14), Nestle ($37,286.93), Coca-Cola ($37,127.50), Pepsico ($54,725.12) and Pioneer Hi-Bred/DuPont ($310,100.00). Click here to see the full list.
If genetically engineered foods are safe, as all of the above companies claim, why are these companies spending so much money trying to defeat a ballot initiative that will simply let the public know if they are buying foods containing genetically engineered ingredients? Unlike yours truly, Prop 37 does not offer a judgement on genetically engineered foods; it simply calls for proper labeling.
To read the Pesticide Action Network's take on the issue, click here.
As I've written before, if Prop 37 passes, it could lead to positive change in our nation's food supply. If you live in California, vote yes and tell your friends (and enemies) to do the same. If you live elsewhere, tell everyone you know in California to vote yes.