Thanks to multi-million dollar smear campaigns funded by Monsanto, Coke, Pepsi and Nestle, for example, Proposition 522 currently before Washington to label GMOs is down to the wire. These companies aim to confuse the public and sway our voting representatives. GMO advocates are maintaining a marginal lead of 46% (against 42%, with 12% of voters undecided) in a similar show down reminiscent of the opposition’s deceitful campaign in California when Prop 37 was up for a vote.
Though the general public has made it very clear we want labeling of all GMO foods, these companies continue to protect their personal interests instead of public health. They do their dirty work under the guise of a ‘Defense of Brands Strategic Account’ set up under something called the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association. Only at an attorney’s urging has the public been made aware of a $17 million-dollar campaign to try to keep the labeling bill from being passed. It list was only published last Friday on a state Public Disclosure Commission website which is hard to trudge through.
The who’s who of American food companies heads the list of companies trying to stop GMO labeling and Big Ag accountability with their deep pockets. Here is how the money trail shows the true interests of these companies. It certainly isn’t in protecting our health and welfare.
- Pepsi Co tops the list. It has spent more than $1.6 million to defeat Prop 37 in California and now its partner in crime Coca-Cola is spending more than a million dollars to try to defeat 522 in Washington.
- NestleUSA has given more than $1 million through the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the Hershey Company has donated more than $248,000 toward defeating 522. Perhaps they want to protect their use of GMO sugar cane?
- General Mills, the makers of cereals you may have even grown to love and trust, along with Kellogg Co. have donated more than three quarters of a million dollars together to try to defeat 522 under the ‘protection’ of the “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” fund set up by the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
- Bimbo Bakeries, with brands under its umbrella including OroWheat, Sara Lee and Ball Park, clearly willing to sell their souls to the devil, have given almost $100,000. Land O’ Lakes has given similarly to try to defeat this labeling bill.
- Obviously Monsanto has spent a great deal, at least $4 million to be exact, and Cargill & Co. have spent a good $98,500 or more to prevent labeling through the 522 campaign. Conagra – who makes things like Hunt’s tomato ketchup and canned tomatoes, Banquet Foods and David Seeds, has put up at least $285,000 to try to defeat GMO labeling.
- Del Monte and Campbell’s Soup companies have also contributed their fair share to try to defeat 522. Campbell’s also spent more than $500,000 in a campaign against the Prop. 37 bill in California.
You can make sure these mega-companies don’t win by calling the representatives in Washington currently voting either for or against this bill, and those who represent you in your own state. Email them, post Facebook messages, Tweet, and re-post this article. We can’t let Big Ag and Big Chemical win!
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.