Proposition 37, which sought to require Big Food companies to properly label genetically-modified foods (GMO’s), recently failed among California voters. GMO’s are formulated through genetic engineering and often require exposure to radiation or chemicals to serve as a catalyst in the transformation. GMO leaders, most notably Missouri-based Monsanto, allotted over $45 million towards a “No on 37” campaign to fight the proposition’s approval. The movement also received contributions from Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Kraft and took part in misrepresentation of the act that boasts “Stop the deceptive food labeling scheme.” The Big Food propaganda was ultimately a success, as it is believed that many whom voted against Prop 37 were swayed by the aggressive campaign.
Though impressive, the $9 million that the counter “Yes on 37” campaign raised did not prove to be enough to raise awareness of the issue that the proposition attempted to attack.
It is unfortunate that an act such as Proposition 37, which shows no significant downside to the consumer (or those voting), could be so easily trumped by a multi-corporation marketing campaign. To me, this shows a lack of exposure of the issue at hand to the average man and woman. A misinformed voter has the ability to damage the common good, it appears that has happened in this case.