Organic Consumers Association

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Prop 37: The Customer Is King, And Labels Need To Reflect That

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

At its core, marketing is about the exchange of product benefits for financial benefits by satisfying customer needs and wants within a competitive environment. In the context of our desire for "All-Natural Food," the need/want theory dictates that consumers do not need all-natural products, they want all-natural products and therefore need all-natural ingredients. Or do they? As a matter of consequence, we have Prop 37 - the GMO labeling debacle that California will vote on this November that will impact a colossal number of prolific brands if passed. If you ask people what they ate last Wednesday they likely will not remember, but ask them about ingredients, and it's clear we're becoming concerned about what's in our food: 85% of people want to know the truth about what's in their food. Is funding "No on Prop 37" the beginning of a high-profile protracted debate?

On one hand the Prop 37 debate provides us with an honest chance to shed the shackles of unhealthy labeling habits and finally stare the issue in the mouth. With food there's no better way to be authentic than to be (naturally) honest about what makes up the product. PepsiCo, the world's second-largest food manufacturer, is funding "No on Prop 37" and has a huge swathe of brands manufactured by its Frito-Lay and Quaker divisions, including "all natural" brands such Mother's, Sun Chips and Naked Juice, through to its granola bars and yogurts containing significant GMO ingredients, especially corn. Change it, they argue, and the impact on costs would be significant.

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