The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Ghosh, 415-265-1568,

To Counteract Deceptive Ads by Prop 37 Foes, Health and Consumer Advocates Use Humor, Celebrities to Get Out the Vote

A Series of Online and TV Ads Released This Week in Support of Prop 37 to Make GE Food Labeling Mandatory in California


With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the David vs. Goliath battle over Proposition 37, the initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food, or GMOs, is in a dead heat, according to polls. To combat the vast amounts of deceptive advertising funded by the giant chemical and food corporations opposed to Prop 37 that is blanketing California airwaves, consumer and health advocates and grassroots activists have created a wave of viral Internet videos and social media activity.

This week, one of those videos, the "Right to Know" public service announcement featuring Danny DeVito, Bill Maher, Dave Matthews and several other celebrities will hit televisions across Los Angeles during popular shows like Good Morning America and Meet the Press. "Right to Know," in addition to three other PSAs, will also reach more than 2.5 million Californians through advertisements across the Internet between now and Nov. 6.

Consumer Advocates for Safe Food and Water's series of PSAs has received nearly 250,000 online views combined since launching on Oct. 15. The overwhelmingly positive response led to a generous outpouring of individual donations to help expand the videos' reach further.

Two of the four PSAs feature a diverse, all-star cast including Danny DeVito, Bill Maher, Dave Matthews, Jillian Michaels, Emily Deschanel, John Cho, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, KaDee Strickland and Kristin Bauer van Straten. The other two PSAs feature children describing the problems with GE foods (GMOs) and encouraging adults to vote yes on Prop 37.

"Since the pesticide and junk food companies opposed to Prop 37 don't have the truth or public opinion on their side, they're spending about $1 million a day on ads attempting to confuse the public into voting against their right to know what's in their food," said Food & Water Watch Pacific Region Director Kristin Lynch. "While we may never be able to match our opponent's spending, we're hoping these popular celebrities and adorable kids will help make this message viral so that every Californian realizes that a yes vote for Prop 37 is a vote towards a healthier, more transparent food supply for everyone."

Proposition 37 is a ballot measure that requires simple, clear labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically engineered. It was written with broad input from food groups, industry, science, legal and health experts and qualified for the November ballot with more than 1 million signatures from California citizens.

"The ability to make an informed choice about what you feed your family is a right no American should be denied," said Jillian Michaels, fitness expert, author and trainer who has appeared on TV's The Doctors, The Biggest Loser and Losing It With Jillian. "I support Prop 37 because regardless of how you feel about the safety of genetically engineered foods we all deserve the right to choose whether or not we want to consume them - and labeling GMOs grants us that right."

The series of PSA videos is part of a larger campaign that Food & Water Watch is waging nationally and Consumer Advocates for Safe Food and Water is waging throughout California in support of Proposition 37 and mandatory GE labeling. Consumer Advocates for Safe Food and Water's efforts include grassroots organizing that contributed to the LA City Council unanimously endorsing Yes on 37, 90 billboards throughout Los Angeles County, a $10,000 contribution to the California Right to Know campaign, efforts to attract and coordinate volunteers for phone banking and other campaign activities, and email notifications to its more than 60,000 California supporters.

Versions of the videos and more information about Prop 37 and Food & Water Watch's commitment to mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods can be found at: www.voteyes37.

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

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