By Healthy Child Staff
One of the biggest issues on a state ballot this fall is California’s Proposition 37, which would require clear labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. GMOs were introduced to foods in the early 1990s, only 18 years ago.
The Yes on 37 Campaign, which supports the ballot measure, calls it a “common sense” measure that will “help consumers make informed choices about the foods they eat.” More than 60 countries around the world already require GMO labeling, including many Europe countries, along with Japan, Russia, and China.
The No on 37 Campaign calls the ballot measure “deeply flawed” scheme that would increase food costs without any health or safety benefits. Monsanto and DuPont, the world’s two largest makers of GMO seeds, have contributed $12 million to fight Prop 37. Tens of millions of dollars more have been contributed by other food makers, including PepsiCo, General Mills, and Coca-Cola.
The staggering sums of money being spent to defeat the GMO label led us to take a look at Prop 37 by the numbers.
Percentage of GMOs in crop production:
- 94% of soybeans crops
- 90% of cotton crops
- 88% of corn crops
- 30,000 different GMOs exist on grocery store shelves
- More than 90% of those polled support GMO labeling
- 53% of those polled would not buy GMO foods
- More than 1 million Californians signed the petition supporting labels on GMO foods, securing a spot on the ballot for Prop 37
- In 60 other countries, GMOs are banned or restricted because they are not considered proven safe
- No on 37 campaign has raised a total of $40.7 million.
- The Yes on 37 California Right to Know campaign has raised $5.3 million, largely from natural and organic food companies.
- According to the Yes on 37 Campaign, of the top ten donors to No on 37….
- Four are subsidiaries of foreign companies (BASF, Bayer, Syngenta, Nestle)
- Nine are out-of-state companies. Only one – Nestle USA – is based in California, but it is a subsidiary of Nestle S.A., which is based in Switzerland.
- Three are subsidiaries of foreign pesticide companies (BASF, Bayer, Syngenta) that are not allowed to grow genetically engineered crops in their own countries for health and environmental reasons.
- Six are pesticide companies, which together have given $20 million to oppose Proposition 37. None of these companies are based in California.