Proposition 37 Does Not Pass but the GMO-Fight Has Just Begun – Here’s What You Can Do

Written by Max Goldberg on November 8, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

On Tuesday, we lost Proposition 37, California’s GMO-labeling initiative, 53% to 47%.

There is no way around it – this was a big loss.

A victory would have signaled that American citizens were finally taking back control of food policy in our country but when you are outspent $47 million to $9 million and must deal a barrage of non-stop and misleading ads, it creates a difficult challenge to overcome.

That being said, I am feeling very upbeat and optimistic this afternoon. Why?

Because we have a core group of energized, motivated, and determined people who are ready to dig their heels in and make GMO-labeling a reality, regardless of what happened in California.

According to the Food & Water Watch, the ag-biotech and chemical industries spent $572 million on lobbying from 1999-2010 to get the food policies that they wanted. It was all done behind closed doors, and citizens observed nothing.

Yet with Proposition 37 in California, the opposition had to do their fighting (manipulation) in the public domain and we were able to witness all of their deceptive tactics first-hand.

As a result, awareness about GMOs has never been greater, and the Proposition 37 loss has completely galvanized the organic and health-minded communities to take its fight against GMOs to the next level.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

I have been getting a lot of emails and messages from people who are very upset about the Proposition 37 result and want to get actively involved. Here are several things that you can do.

1) Make sure that you sign up for Just Label It. This is the national campaign to get labeling approved on the federal level and it is led by Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg.

He is constantly meeting with the White House, and we need to arm him with tangible evidence that A LOT of people want GMOs to be labeled.

Right now, we have a little under two million citizens on board but frankly this is not nearly enough. It must be tens and tens of millions.

2) With nearly two dozen states that are considering GMO-legislation, it is important that people be involved on the state level.

There is a grassroots initiative called The Coalition of States for GMO Labeling (no website just yet). 30 states have formal groups that have already been established and activities are ongoing. They include:

Arkansas
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Iowa
Maine
Michigan
Mississippi
Massachusetts
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
New Hampshire
North Carolina
Oregon
Ohio
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia
Washington DC
Washington
Wisconsin

If you would like to be involved with one of these groups or if you would like to start a group in your own state (assuming that it isn’t listed above), please contact Tara Cook-Littman at: gmolabelingstatecoalition@gmail.com

Tara is heading up the Connecticut group and she also spoke at our recent GMO-labeling fundraiser in NYC.

3) Become part of a brand new initiative called GMO Inside, which just launched today.

According to John Roulac, CEO/Founder of Nutiva and one of the leaders of this group, “GMO Inside was created to catapult the energy from the fight for Prop 37 to the next level. Our goal is to bring greater awareness to consumers nationwide about the dangers of GMOs and educate on what they can do to make a change.”

GMO Inside will provide tools and resources for Americans to find the GMOs in a wide-range of products and brands on grocery shelves, and give people organic and non-GMO alternatives. It will also create communities of people who are concerned about GMOs and who will support each others’ efforts to label GMOs and avoid products containing them.

I am very excited about GMO Inside and will personally be involved with activities in New York City.

If you would like to join me and help our efforts here, please contact me via Facebook.

4) Lastly, and arguably most importantly, we need to take our fight to the cash register by boycotting products that contain GMOs.

At the end of the day, profitability is the only thing Big Food cares about, and nothing will get their attention faster than hitting them where it hurts the most – their bottom line.

The number that I have heard is 5%. If we can decrease sales of a specific product by 5%, companies would then consider replacing GMOs with non-GMO ingredients.

We can never underestimate the power of voting with our dollars.

Here are the companies, and their brands, who spent a total of $49 million to defeat GMO-labeling in California. They do not want us to know what is in our food and we can never let them forget this.

Taken from the California Secretary of State website, the corporations below have made financial contributions to defeat Proposition 37.

PepsiCo – (Pepsi, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Frito-Lay, Tostitos, Gatorade, Naked Juice)

Nestle – (Nestle, Gerber, Perrier, Poland Spring, Pellegrino, Nescafe, Nestea, Dreyer’s, Alpo, Purina, PowerBar, Jenny Craig)

Hershey Company – (Hershey’s Chocolate, Kit-Kat, Almond Joy, Twizzlers, Reese’s, Dagoba)

Dean Foods – (Horizon Organic, Silk, Land O’Lakes, Garelick Farms, Meadow Farms, Dean’s)

Mars – (Mars, M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Uncle Ben’s, Doublemint, Skittles, Starburst, Seeds of Change, Alterra Coffee, Pedigree)

Coca-Cola North America – (Coke, Diet Coke, Minute Maid, Odwalla, Honest Tea, Dasani, Vitamin Water)

Rich Products Corporation – (SeaPak, Byron’s, FarmRich)

Ocean Spray Cranberries – (Ocean Spray juices and dried fruit)

Kellogg’s – (Kellogg’s products, Kashi, Bear Naked, Gardenburger, Morningstar Farm)

General Mills – (Cheerios, Wheaties, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Lara Bar, Liberte, Yoplait, Nature Valley)

Dole – (Dole, Dole Organic)

Pinnacle Foods Group – (Aunt Jemima, Duncan Hines, Hungry Man, Van de Kamps, Vlasic)

Del Monte – (Del Monte Products, Wolfgang Puck organic soups)

Campbell Soup – (Campbell’s, Swanson, V8, Prego)

Morton Salt

McCormick & Company

Inventure Foods – (Jamba Smoothies, Burger King Fries, T.G.I.Fridays Potato Skins – each one is a licensee)

Sunny Delight – (SunnyD)

Sara Lee – (Sara Lee, Hillshire Farms, Jimmy Dean, State Fair)

McCain Foods – (Anchor, Farmer’s Kitchen, Redstone Canyon)

Land O’ Lakes

J.M. Smucker Company – (Smucker’s products, Santa Cruz Organic, R.W. Knudsen)

Hormel Foods – (Hormel, Herdez, Spam, Valley Fresh)

Godiva Chocolate

Bumble Bee Foods – (Bumble Bee, King Oscar, Beach Cliff)

Bimbo Bakeries – (Arnold, Bimbo, Ball Park, Entenmann’s, Earthgrains)

—-

I want to send out a huge thank you to a woman in California named Pamm Larry.

Pamm is the person who came up with the idea of Proposition 37 in her kitchen one day and has sparked a movement against GMOs unlike we have ever seen. We all owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.

To stay up-to-date on the latest organic and GMO news, make sure that you are on my newsletter list.

To join this list, enter your email below and I’ll send you my Top 5 Inexpensive Ways to Shop Organic.


 

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11 Comments

  1. Hey,
    If anyone makes or finds an image with ALL Anti-prop 37 Corporations, including their LOGOS (so the products can be more easily spotted), brands, & natural/organic brands,
    let me know. gmofreesc@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    Written by Tarah Locke on November 8, 2012 @ 4:41 pm
  2. Thank you Max! I am so happy to see Michigan on the list. I will send an email to Tara Cook-Littman to get the contact info for Michigan! This has to be done! There is definitely power in numbers and I truly believe GMO’s will be labeled if we all take a stand!

    Written by Marsha on November 8, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
  3. Hi Tarah,

    Thanks for your support!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on November 8, 2012 @ 6:36 pm
  4. Hi Marsha,

    So happy that you’ll be involved in Michigan! Contact Tara and she’ll put you in touch with the correct person.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on November 8, 2012 @ 6:37 pm
  5. Hey Max,

    Thanks for this post, the resources for continued involvement, and the list of companies to boycott. I also heard that Starbucks and Target contributed to the defeat funds. Is that true?

    ~ Lacey :)

    Written by Lacey @ KV Organics on November 10, 2012 @ 10:55 pm
  6. Hi Lacey,

    I have not heard that those two contributed funds. If I hear otherwise, I will let you know.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on November 12, 2012 @ 10:31 am
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