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Nation’s Top Food Makers Opposing Honest Food Labels

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on August 7, 2012 - 7:05am

(Sacramento, Calif.) The latest round of funding just reported to the California Secretary of State’s office identifies multi-national food and agrichemical companies that are joining forces to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who want the right to know if their food contains genetically engineered ingredients.

Total donations to the opposition to date total approximately $2 million, including recent contributions from biotech industry conglomerate Pioneer Hi-Bred, owned by DuPont ($310,100); the Biotechnology Industry Organization ($250,000), a Washington-based lobbying powerhouse funded by a long list of agrichemical companies including Monsanto; and chemical companies BASF ($126,600) and Syngenta ($63,300).

The Grocery Manufacturers Association,an industry lobby group whose president said that defeating Prop 37 “is the single-highest priority for GMA this year,” has given $375,000 to date. Recent contributions from big food brands include Pepsico ($90,220); Nestlé ($61,471); Coca Cola ($61,208); ConAgra Foods ($56,598); Kellogg ($33,248); and J.M. Smucker ($20,396).

“Why are these giant corporations spending so much money to hide the truth about what’s in their food?” said Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for the Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign. “These same companies are already informing foreign consumers about genetically engineered food in 49 other countries including all of Europe, Japan, China and Russia. Californians have a right to know what’s in our food too.

“We’re in for another David versus Goliath fight. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we expect will be millions more dollars flooding into misleading ad campaigns from multi-billion dollar businesses that don’t want us to know if our food has been genetically engineered.” 

The Yes on 37 Campaign has received total contributions to date of approximately $2.4 million, with the largest recent donations coming from thousands of small donors who made contributions online through the Organic Consumers Fund ($400,000), as well as Nutiva ($50,000), Organic Valley ($50,000) and two individuals who donated $50,000 and $25,000 each.

Other contributors include Lundberg Family Farms, Amy’s Kitchen, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Organic Valley, Nature’s Path and Dr. Joseph Mercola, who runs one of the largest health websites in the country.

“Yes on 37 is a grassroots people’s movement made up of millions of consumers who support labeling and who worked to get this measure on the ballot. Concerned citizens — with moms and grandmothers leading the charge — and businesses that want fairness in our food system are standing up for our right to know what we’re eating,” Malkan said.

Malkan pointed to the “One Million More” drive that the campaign kicked off last week to organize another million voters and volunteers who will take on America’s most powerful corporations to demand accurate information about what’s in our food.  For more information: www.CARighttoKnow.org.

Note: Recent contributions in this release include donations received from April through July 2012. For more information about total donations, see these links: Yes on Prop 37 contributions and opposition contributions.

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