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Organic Consumers Association

Why Are Some of the Most Popular Organic Brands Trying to Take Down Consumer Labeling Efforts?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our California News page.

Inside the battle over California's ballot initiative for labeling of genetically engineered foods, Prop 37, is another battle for money. It's no surprise that more than $14 million of the over $26 million raised to defeat the "Right to Know" labeling initiative is from the biotech industry. And it's not shocking that the nation's largest food corporations - PepsiCo, Nestle, Coca-Cola, ConAgra, General Mills, Del Monte, Kellogg, Hershey, etc. - have kicked in most of the rest.

But then there are some surprises. Companies with no obvious stake in the GE foods labeling battle like Morton Salt, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and Godiva have contributed thousands of dollars. And conscientious shoppers may not be aware that they are buying organic products from brands owned by the companies fighting to defeat Prop 37.

The Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog organization, recently published an infographic telling which organic brands are owned by major corporations that oppose GE food labeling - as well as which organic companies and brands are supporting the pro-labeling "Right to Know" campaign.

Coca-Cola might not want to label the genetically engineered corn used to make the high fructose corn syrup in its sodas, but it also owns organic and "natural" brands like Honest Tea and Odwalla. Likewise, PepsiCo, owner of Izze and Naked Juice, donated $1.7 million to oppose Prop 37 - more than every other donor except Monsanto and DuPont, and even more than the other four major biotech corporations (Bayer, BASF, Dow, and Syngenta).


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