Agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. donated more than $4.2 million to No on 37, a coalition of groups opposed to a California ballot measure that would require labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically modified.
“The giant pesticide and food companies are afraid of the mothers and grandmothers who want the right to know what’s in our food,” said Stacy Malkan, media director of California Right to Know. “These companies will try to buy the election, but it won’t work. California moms and dads will prevail over Monsanto and Dupont.“
Campaign finance reports show that Nestle USA, Coca Cola, E. I. Dupont de Nemours, Dow Agrosciences and PepsiCo have also contributed to No on 37, along with other agricultural and food companies.
Opponents of Proposition 37 claim it would create a costly bureaucracy and lead to frivolous lawsuits. Total contributions to defeat the measure amount to $25 million.
If it is passed, California — which produces nearly half of U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables — would become the first state to require labels for genetically modified foods. Legislators in Vermont have considered a similar law, but support for the legislation plummeted after Monsanto threatened to sue the state.
The California Democratic Party has endorsed Proposition 37, while the California Republican Party opposes it.