California’s Franken-food labeling initiative loses badly

Though there were a number of solid victories Tuesday night.  Though a few initiatives lost, including California’s Proposition 37, which would have required clear labeling for GMO food.

The pro-GMO industry pumped a lot of money into the vote, and won.

Why anyone would not want to know more about the food they are eating is beyond me, but the fight will have to continue elsewhere.

LA Times:

Frankenfood

Frankenfood via Shutterstock

Proposition 37, the genetically engineered food labeling initiative, was trailing badly late on election day.

With just over a fifth of the statewide votes counted, the measure was losing with 42.7% yes to 57.3% no.

It was polling strongly ahead five weeks ago but fell steadily in the polls under a barrage of negative campaign television advertisements funded by a food and biotech industry war chest of more than $44 million.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Papa Bear

    California was trying to do an end-run around the feds (who won’t do anything about labeling franken-food), just like they do with the EPA standards on their cars…

  • Tor

    The proposition was weird. Why were dairy products exempt? Why was onus for labeling placed on shop-owners? Why was meat that had eaten GM feed exempt?
    I certainly do not want to ingest GMOs, and would like to see labels, but there were too many loopholes to make this comprehensive. Therefore I try to buy organic as much as possible.

  • Naja pallida

    One of the main problems is that large corporations won’t do anything voluntarily. Especially if they think it will cost them a few dollars… dollars that they would immediately transfer on to their customers because they wouldn’t dare give up a penny of profit for something as silly as informing consumers.

  • Naja pallida

    Personally, this should be tackled at the federal level anyway. Why should only one state be allowed to know what is in their food?

  • dula

    I got a mailing from CaliforniansVoteGreen, I assumed was an environmental group, that said to vote against this food labeling prop 37 because it was poorly designed and would increase pesticide use.

  • Nice

     yes it can, and that is beginning to happen. BUT, when the vast majority of supermarket products (especially in the center aisles) are contaminated, labeling GMOS themselves really is imperative, especially since there is NO US independent testing of health effects of ingesting them.

  • Nice

    Prop 37 was defeated by corporate $ (10 times what the YES on 37 grassroots were able to raise), used for the past month to inundate TV with lies (ex. food costs will rise by $400/year), and subterfuge. Corporate American wins this battle, but we are not giving up the fight

  • Indigo

    Strong on equal rights for gays and the legalization of marihuana, Calif is no longer a Whole Earth Catalog focal point for healthy eating. That was 25 years ago. My how time flies and concerns change.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover
  • Guest1

    Can’t non gmo food be labeled as such voluntarily, therefore people can avoid food without such label

  • usagi

    It lost because of a non-stop barrage of ads basically saying that if it passed it would be used for nothing but lawsuits to drive small farms out of business for not spending millions of dollars to comply with its petty, confusing, arbitrary requirements. Plus, the default position on any state initiative in CA is vote no until you have a reason to vote yes. There was no way for the Yes side to counter the propaganda.  At least this time.

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