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Pesticide Giants Pour Millions into Campaign to Defeat California's Prop. 37

The campaign to defeat a proposition to get genetically modified food labeled gets over $34 million

Common Dreams staff

As the battle of California's Proposition 37 reaches its final weeks, the latest figures show the staggering amount big agricultural firms are pouring into the campaign to prevent foods with genetically modified ingredients from being labeled.

MapLight Voter's Edge, a nonpartisan guide to ballot measures, reports that $4.1 million has been raised on the Yes side, the side that favors the labeling, and $34.5 million on the No side, the anti-labeling side.

Despite the huge spending disparity, Californians are overwhelmingly in favor of labeling, a recent poll shows.

Of the USC/Los Angeles Times poll, Jason Mark writes in Earth Island Journal:

According to the poll released last week, there’s a good chance of Prop 37 passing. The survey, which was conducted by the polling firm Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner, shows that Californians are in favor of GMO food labeling by at least two-to-one. Even the most conservative numbers in the detailed survey (which you can download here) reveal the measure leading by a large margin, with 59 percent of voters in favor versus 28 percent who are opposed.*

Yes on 37 campaign manager Gary Ruskin cites a recent study showing the explosion of pesticide use due to genetically modified crops, saying the results show why corporations like Roundup maker Monsanto and pesticide giant Dupont are fighting the labeling.

“As we see from the data, GMOs are a fantastic boon for the pesticide industry. That’s why the world’s largest pesticide companies have spent nearly $20 million to defeat Proposition 37 and our right to know what’s in our food,” said Ruskin.  

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