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Support for California GMO Labeling Proposal Drops Following Industry-Funded Ad Blitz

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

Support for California's Proposition 37 ballot initiative that would require special labels for groceries containing genetically engineered ingredients has dropped dramatically since the industry-funded opponents of the proposal unleashed a statewide deluge of TV ads.

About 50 percent of California voters oppose Proposition 37 and 39 percent support the measure, according to a Pepperdine University poll released on Tuesday. In mid-September, before the industry-funded ads hit the airwaves, 67 percent of voters polled by Pepperdine supported Proposition 37. That number fell to 48 percent by early October, and now Proposition 37 is behind in the polls for the first time.

Recent Los Angeles Times/UNC Dornsife polls found similar results. Last week Proposition 37 held a slim lead at 44-42 percent with 14 percent undecided, down from 65-25 percent in mid-September.

No on 37 raised $41 million from processed food and agrichemical companies, including $8 million from Monsanto and $5.4 million from Dupont, and used the massive war chest to launch the statewide TV ad campaign. At least two California newspapers have found No on 37 ads to be "half true" or "somewhat misleading," while proponents call the anti-37 ad blitz "a massive campaign of deception and lies."

The No on 37 campaign did not respond to an inquiry from Truthout.

The Yes on 37 campaign has raised $7 million with help from producers of organic products and the alternative health web site, which sells a wide range of organic products. Working with much less money than their industry-funded opponents, the pro-37 campaign waited until the final weeks before the election to run a TV ad.
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