Big Voting Day in California

November 6th, 2012 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Big Voting Day in California

While today is a big day as we look to vote to see who will be the leader of our country for the next 4 years, there is a much quieter (but still significant) vote that will occur in California – Proposition 37. Proposition 37 on this year’s ballot asks Californians to decide whether manufacturers should be required to label foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. If the measure is approved, California would become the first state in the nation to label genetically modified foods. Similar laws have already been adopted by much of Europe and Japan.

Initially Prop 37 and the labeling of genetically modified foods was widely accepted by California consumers who wanted to know exactly what they’re buying and eating. In September, polls were showing more than 61 percent of likely voters were in favor of Prop.37. But a month later, support has dropped by 17 points with the Prop. 37 campaign being outspent by the competition by $37 million with much of the money financing television ads. This allowed opponents of Prop 37 to create a widespread attack on the ballot initiative and creating doubts and confusion amongst California consumers. Some of America’s largest food corporations who oppose Prop 37 have spent nearly 45 million dollars (37 million more than proponents of the initiative) against a transparent food labeling system. The largest donors to NO on Prop. 37 are chemical companies and food manufacturers with the 3 largest donors being Monsanto: $8.1 million; Dupont: $5.4 million; and Pepsico: $2.1 million.

Most of the money against the proposition is coming from outside of California.Some 93 percent of the $45 million raised to defeat the proposition is from out-of-state, and most of it is from Washington, D.C. As for who is supporting the proposition, 28 percent of the $7 million raised came from the state of California.

Many view Proposition 37 as a baby step toward what some hope will become a national standard. If you live in California, please vote! When you step into the voting booth not only do you exercise your power, but the playing field becomes level. The CEO of Monsanto has no more power with their actual vote when they close the curtain behind them in the voting booth than you. The only antidote to the power of their spending is your vote.