Sign the Petition:
Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

Democracy Now Interviews David Bronner on WA GMO Labeling Battle

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

As a measure to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods fails to pass in Washington state, we speak to one of its major supporters, David Bronner, the grandson of Dr. Bronner who founded Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, who spent $2.3 million on the "Yes on 522" campaign, but was outspent 3-to-1 by opponents. The campaign against Initiative 522 drew millions of dollars from major corporations and out-of-state organizations who spent more than $22 million to defeat it, including Monsanto, which donated more than $5 million, and DuPont, which gave almost $4 million. Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Nestle dedicated more than $1.5 million each. This comes as a recent New York Times poll found 93 percent of Americans want labels on food containing GM ingredients. Sixty-four countries require it. Bronner notes votes are still being counted and the measure is not yet officially defeated, and says similar measures are pending in Connecticut and Maine.

Transcript



JUAN GONZALEZ: We end the show with this week's vote in Washington state against a measure that would have required mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Washington would have been the first state to pass a law on GMO labeling. The campaign over Initiative 522 drew millions of dollars from out of state and was the costliest initiative fight in state history. Major corporations and other opponents of GMO labeling spent $22 million to defeat the measure. Monsanto donated over $5 million; DuPont, $4 million; while Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Nestle dedicated more than $1.5 million each. The opposition outspent supporters about three to one.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, a recent New York Times poll found 93 percent of Americans want labels on food containing GMOs. Sixty-four countries require it.

For more on the implications of this vote, we go to San Francisco, where we're joined by David Bronner. He is the grandson of Dr. Bronner who founded Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which was the largest donor to Yes on 522 campaign. David Bronner has been the president of the company since 1998.

David, welcome to Democracy Now! How much did Dr. Bronner's contribute?

DAVID BRONNER: We contributed $2.3 million to the "yes" side. Yeah, we knew-we knew that-you know, what the other side was going to do and that we had to step in and help-

AMY GOODMAN: Why was-

DAVID BRONNER: -you know, an amazing grassroots coalition there, be able to fight these guys.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is this debate so important to you-the labeling of GMO foods-and what are the lessons you've learned from this campaign battle?

DAVID BRONNER: Well, you know, basically, six chemical companies have bought the seed industry in this country and are engineering resistance to their weed killer. So when you hear with genetic engineering, oftentimes it'll be spun like it's going to be, you know, vitamins in rice or nitrogen fixing, but that's not the reality. The reality on the ground is it's about chemical companies selling weed killer.         


>>> Read the Full Article

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords: