The country’s most important GMO-labeling campaign is taking place right now in Washington State, and it is called I-522.
There are a few key things about this campaign that I wanted to discuss with you.
1) Among everyone that I speak to in the industry, the general consensus is that getting GMO-labeling approved in our country will be a bottoms-up, rather than a top-down, approach.
This means that we have to win on the state level rather than have it be mandated above from the federal government. Politicians in Washington D.C. are so under the influence of lobbyists and corporations that getting any serious traction on a national level has proven to be incredibly difficult.
(Watch what Andrew Kimbrell, the Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety, says about the importance of winning on the state level in order to get federal GMO-labeling approved.)
Needless to say, winning Washington’s GMO-labeling campaign is imperative, especially after last year’s loss in California with Proposition 37.
Monsanto and many of the major chemical companies have already raised close to $18 million to defeat this measure, and our side has raised a little over four million, with Dr. Bronner’s as the major contributor. (To see Cornucopia’s poster of who gave what on each side, click HERE.)
2) The major food companies who are against GMO-labeling have learned an important lesson from last year’s Proposition 37 and have employed a very sneaky maneuver to avoid the public backlash that their brands faced in 2012.
In Proposition 37, companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg’s, and many others donated directly to the campaign to defeat this GMO-labeling initiative. The donations were all made public and as a result, the companies faced serious anger on social media. Furthermore, their customers and many GMO-labeling activists called for a boycott of these brands.
(And don’t forget that many of these large companies own organic brands, and these organic brands were boycotted as well.)
Not wanting to repeat last year’s huge public relations debacle, NONE of the major food companies has made a direct contribution. NONE.
Instead, the funds have been funneled through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), their major trade organization.
So, the GMA is now the major contributor in the fight against I-522, and consumers have no idea which companies have donated to defeat this measure in Washington State.
Not accepting this tactic as acceptable, an organization called Moms for Labeling filed a lawsuit against the GMA to force them to disclose the names of the donors. Unfortunately, a court ruled against them and also fined the group $10,000. Additionally, the GMA counter-sued.
Getting GMO-labeling in our country is essential, and I strongly encourage you to donate whatever you can afford. I have donated. Please consider helping as well.
To fight for our right to know what is in our food and to donate, please click HERE.
Also, as a reminder for when you go to the grocery store, the companies and brands below 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 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)
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)
J.M. Smucker Company - (Smucker’s products, Santa Cruz Organic, R.W. Knudsen)
Hormel Foods - (Hormel, Herdez, Spam, Valley Fresh)
Bumble Bee Foods - (Bumble Bee, King Oscar, Beach Cliff)
Bimbo Bakeries - (Arnold, Bimbo, Ball Park, Entenmann’s, Earthgrains)
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