Industry Pumps Cash into Campaign Against GMO Labeling Law
August 15, 2012
Food prices are nothing compared to lobbying for what food labeling rules.
California voters will decide in November whether to make this the first state to require labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods. And supporters and detractors of the labeling law, Proposition 37, are already throwing big money down on appealing to voters.
The Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition raised just over $1 million in the first six months of 2012—then industry poured an additional $10 million in since the most recent filing period ended June 30.
Biotech giant Monsanto was the single largest giver to the No On Prop 37 campaign, at $4.2 million. Dupont has contributed about $3 million.
Food companies were smaller givers, with PepsiCo leading the way at $1.7 million. Players like Coca-Cola, Wrigley, Nestle and Kellogg have given at least in the six-figure range, and smaller contributors include Morton Salt, Sunny Delight and Dole.
Until July, the pro-labeling committee out-fundraised the opposition more than double, with about $1.5 million going to veteran consultants Masterton & Wright for signature gathering guidance. (Prop 37 is a citizen-led ballot initiative that turned in more than 600,000 signatures.)
They've also relied heavily on a few major corporate donors. The natural health website Mercola.com has given $800,000, while Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps gave $290,000 and Lundberg Family Farms gave $200,000 toward petition signature gathering.
Other food companies paying in to the pro-labeling PAC include Organic Valley and Straus Family Creamery.
Dozens of individuals have also contributed smaller amounts, around $100, to the pro-Prop 37 camp.
A second pro-labeling PAC, managed by the Organic Consumer Association, has raised an additional $500,000.