Eating corn

A recent L.A. Times poll suggests California’s Proposition 37, which would make it the first state to require mandatory labeling on foods containing genetically modified ingredients, is likely to pass by more than a 2-to-1 margin this coming November.

Despite the excessive spending by the opposition of the proposition—mainly big chemical and seed companies including Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta and Cargill—according to the poll, 61 percent of California voters support the ballot initiative while just 25 percent were opposed.

However, the poll was conducted before the No on Prop 37 campaign had begun its major television advertising, suggesting the bill will cost California taxpayers millions of dollars. According to the LA Times, “The first 30-second television spot complains that passage of the labeling initiative would foster more government bureaucracy and send food prices spiraling.”

The campaign’s first video features a farmer warning that state’s poorest will have an even more difficult time being able to afford food once the measure passes, despite evidence to the contrary: European countries who adopted labeling requirements on GMOs did not face price hikes near what the big-ag companies are suggesting.

Opposition for the bill has raised more than $32.5 million, with more than $7 million coming from Monsanto alone. But, the Yes on Proposition 37 camp has raised just under $4 million, with support from some of the biggest advocates of avoiding GMOs, including Mercola.com, Nature’s Path and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

Both sides of the issue are vested in the outcome; a victory in California could pave the way for other states to adopt similar measures requiring labeling on GMOs, and that’s something the big chemical and seed companies want to avoid, particularly in light of recent research connecting GMO corn with cancer.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Travel Manitoba