Food Corporations Spending Big to Defeat Proposition 37

Proposition 37 would require food labels to indicate genetically modified ingredients. (Judy Baxter: Flickr)

New campaign finance data shows millions of dollars pouring in to fund November ballot battles. In two closely watched issues this election season, the California Teachers Association dumped another $7 million against Proposition 32. It would block unions from using payroll deducted funds for political purposes, among other things.

Food giants ponied up another $3 million to take down Proposition 37, the ballot measure that asks voters to decide if foods with genetically modified ingredients should be labelled. If Prop 37 passes, California would be the first state to require such labels.

In the “no” camp on Prop 37 are people and companies who do not want to label genetically modified foods. They’re spending big — outspending the “yes” camp 10 to one.

Over the last few days companies such as Ocean Spray, Sara Lee, Kraft and Godiva Chocolates have spent big to stop GMO labels from appearing on packages. The “No on 37” campaign is spreaheaded by biotech giant Monsanto and has raised $28 million so far. “Yes on 37” which backs labeling is supported by organic food makers among others, it’s raised less than $3 million to date.

For a visual on all campaign spending, visit MapLight. While its numbers are a bit behind the Secretary of State, MapLight has easy-to-read charts.

Finally, KQED’s Amy Standen has a great explainer about Proposition 37 — who’s for it, who’s against it and why.