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Proposition 37 Defeated In California

On Tuesday, California voted down a referendum that would have required labels for genetically-modified foods.

A group of supporters holding

Photo: cheeseslave (Flickr)

Supporters of labeling genetically-modified food have promised that the campaign will push forward in other states.

Close Race

California’s “Right to Know” Proposition 37 failed to pass by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent on Tuesday night.

Had the initiative passed, food producers would have been required to label all genetically-modified foods.

The measure received most of its support in the state’s coastal counties, which are the more liberal areas of the state. Inland agricultural counties, on the other hand, voted heavily in opposition.

Five-To-One Spending Imbalance

Corporate supporters like Nature’s Path, Clif Bar and Amy’s Kitchen were outspent nearly five-to-one by corporate opponents like Monsanto, DuPont, Coca-Cola, Kraft and PepsiCo.

The latter argued that fears surrounding genetically modified food are misguided and that labeling would risk inspiring a rash of unfounded lawsuits against food producers and retailers.

Supporters argued that consumers should have the right to make fully-informed food purchasing decisions.

Elsewhere, Campaign Pushes Forward

While disappointed, pro-labelers are undeterred by the election result, saying that the initiative’s volume of support despite the opposition’s enormous campaign reflects how passionate citizens are about this issue.

The campaign is now shifting to other states. Efforts to put similar legislation on the ballot in 2014 are already underway in Vermont, Connecticut and Washington.

Read More:

  • Prop. 37: Genetic Food Labels Defeated (SFGate)
  • With Proposition 37 Defeated, Food Movement Vows To Fight On (Mercury News)
  • Proposition 37 Election Results: Monsanto Money, Lawsuit Worries Sink GMO Labeling Advocates’ Hopes (LA Weekly)
Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon has been interested in food ethics since she was 15, learned about industrial slaughter, and launched into 10 years of vegetarianism. These days, she strives to be a conscientious omnivore. Now a PhD candidate in folklore, her research has caused her to spend a lot of time in the remote Canadian sub-arctic, where the lake trout (sustainably harvested) tastes amazing.

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