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A 2011 rally in support of GMO labeling.  (Photo: Daneil Lobo/flickr/cc)

Here We Go Again: Monsanto Spends Millions to Defeat State's GMO Labeling Effort

Colorado's Proposition 105, like previous state efforts to label GMOs, faces well-funded corporate opposition

Andrea Germanos

Monsanto has poured $4.7 million into the campaign to defeat an initiative to label genetically modified food in Colorado.

The funds went to the No on 105 Coalition, which hopes it can beat Proposition 105, one of four statewide ballot measures Colorado voters will see on their November ballots.  If passed, the measure would require most food made with genetically modified material (GMOs) to be labeled "Produced With Genetic Engineering" starting July 1, 2016.

The GMO-labeling effort is backed by Right to Know Colorado, which says its "movement is built on the foundation that we have the basic right to know what is in our food and what we are feeding our families."

The campaign contribution continues a pattern of big spending to defeat state GMO labeling efforts, such as those in California and Washington, not only by by the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant but by other industry groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association, ConAgra Foods and PepsiCo.

According to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group, industry groups disclosed $27.5 million of spending in the first half of 2014 towards lobbying expenditures that made reference to GMO labeling—a surge from such spending in 2013.

The Union of Concerned Scientists noted that Monsanto has frequently used its deep pockets for influence:

Monsanto consistently outspends all other agribusiness companies and interest groups to protect and maintain industrial agriculture’s dominance over our food system.

But all the spending has apparently not been sufficient, as Monsanto Chief Executive, Hugh Grant said earlier this year, "There’s a recognition we need to do more" to win in the GMO debate.

Despite the well-funded opposition, the pro-labeling effort is forging ahead.

In a recent op-ed published in the Denver Post, Right to Know Colorado co-chair Larry Cooper writes:

Over the last two years, the world's largest chemical and biotech seed companies and America's giant food manufacturers have spent nearly $70 million to defeat GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington. In just three weeks, those opposed to Proposition 105 raised $1.4 million, dwarfing the $22,000 raised by Right to Know Colorado.

While these spending differences are staggering, Right to Know Colorado's statewide grassroots support will continue to fight for greater transparency in our food system through this GMO labeling initiative despite the well-funded corporate opposition.


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'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·

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