One important vote that national Election coverage wasn’t following so closely last night was California’s Proposition 37: The GMO Right to Know Act. Prop 37 might seem like it was only relevant in California, but had it passed, it would have set a precedent for GMO labeling – and transparency – here in the U.S.
Big Ag, the large biotech firms, and food corporations (including some large organic brands!) spent big bucks convincing consumers that GMO labeling was costly and unnecessary. Those scare tactics seem to have work, despite the fact that these very same companies label GMOs in dozens of other countries and somehow manage to keep prices reasonable. Curious.
If you follow us on Facebook, maybe you saw the link we shared for California’s KCET, who was posting live results on the Prop 37 vote. Whether you followed it live or checked in this morning, you know that the measure did not pass.
Big Ag may have defeated Prop 37, but the fight for GMO labeling is far from over.
GMO Labeling: What Now?
As Anna Ghosh at Food & Water Watch points out, the proposition failed by only a narrow margin, and before those deceptive ads hit the air in California, there was overwhelming support for truth in labeling. Ghosh said in a press release this morning:
“Prop 37 may not have passed, but it brought together and galvanized people from across California, the country and the world who believe deeply that people have the right to know whether their food has been genetically engineered, and this momentum will only grow. We are already organizing in over a dozen states and in the coming year will be ramping up our campaign across the country to let consumers decide and make GE labeling the law.”
Keep an eye out for those campaigns in your states, and if you can get involved, either by volunteering or making a donation, you can help push GMO labeling here in the U.S.
Mark Kastel from the Cornucopia Institute also released a statement on Prop 37′s defeat today. He reminds us that one way to ensure that our food is not genetically modified is to buy organic. He also points out that by getting this measure on the ballot, we’ve brought the debate of GMOs in our food supply to the forefront of conversation and reminds us that many organic brands that we trust are actually owned by larger food corporations who spent big to mislead consumers about the impact that Prop 37 would have on the food industry and food prices.
The Cornucopia Institute has an infographic showing which organic brands fought against Prop 37 and which ones supported GMO labeling, and Kastel encourages consumers to vote with our wallets and just say no to the brands that sought to fight transparency. Check out the graphic here:
Big corporations may have squelched truth in labeling in California, but this fight is not over. We can use our power in the marketplace and support future measures calling for our basic right as consumers to know what we are eating.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Alternative Heat