Statement on Election Results from the California Right to Know Campaign
Yesterday, we showed that there is a food movement in the United States, and it is strong, vibrant and too powerful to stop. We always knew we were the underdogs, and the underdogs nearly took the day. Dirty money and dirty tactics may have won this skirmish, but they will not win the war.
Today, we are more than 4 million votes closer to knowing what’s in our food than when we started. This is a victory and a giant step forward. We are proud of our broad coalition of moms and dads, farmers, nurses, environmentalists, faith and labor leaders who did so much with so few resources to bring us to this point, and we will carry forward.
These results are also a reminder of the corrupting influence of huge multinational corporations on our electoral process. The world’s leading pesticide and junk food companies outspent Yes on 37 by more than 5 to 1, and beginning on October 1, spent about a million dollars a day on a hailstorm of false claims, misrepresentations and fear mongering over five simple words on a label. In the end, they spent enough money to hide the truth from the majority of voters. The food manufacturers are on the wrong side of history; they should not fight their customers, but join them.
Today is not the end of our campaign to secure our fundamental right to know what’s in our food. It is a strong beginning, and we thank the millions of Californians who stood with us. We are proud of our grassroots movement, our 10,000 hardworking volunteers, and the diverse coalition of health, faith, labor and consumer groups that stood with us. We will keep fighting for consumer choice, fairness and transparency in our food system. And we will prevail.
The opposition is hard at work trying to mislead voters. Just today, an LA voter received a mailer from the "LA County Democratic" with a sample ballot advising a no vote on Prop 37. She called the LA County Democratic Party who told her that since the word "Party" isn't on the mailer, there's nothing they can do.
BEWARE OF FAKE MAILERS LIKE THE ONE ON THE LEFT.
THE REAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (RIGHT) ENDORSES PROP 37
Kudos to conscientious celebrities rushing forward to support our right to know what's in our food. They are using their star power to show support for Proposition 37 with words, videos and social media messages. Celebrities For The Win!
Gwyneth Paltrow: "Voting YES on California's Proposition 37 will require all genetically modified foods to be labeled, something that's currently not done in the US but is done in more than 50 other countries. This means you'll have a choice between buying an ear of corn that's been genetically modified and one that's not. It's just a label! And it's just freedom of information, after all."
The LA band Maroon 5, longtime proponents of Prop 37, tweeted this note of support.
@Maroon5: "On Election Day we’ll support the right to know with a vote to ."
Singing legend Barbra Streisand expressed her belief of our right to know in this tweet.
@BarbraStreisand: "Everyone has right to know what they’re eating! Join in labeling GMO foods. Please RT. Barbra."
Actor Charlie Sheen showed us some love. You know what that means...Winning!
@charliesheen: "Say NO to GMO!! Why are we eating genetically modified food? Why are the bees vanishing? You have a right to know..! CA VOTE YES ON PROP 37!"
@charliesheen: "CA VOTERS you have a right to know what you're eating! Whether you support the use of GMO's or not... YOU deserve to KNOW YES on prop 37 RT"
Proposition 37 is not a referendum on whether or not genetically engineered foods are safe. It's about our right to know what it’s in our food.
“The question of whether to label genetically engineered (GE) foods, as Proposition 37 would require, is not about science. Prop 37 is about people having the right to know what's in their food and how it was produced. It's about making competition in a free market - the hallmark of capitalism - more transparent," wrote Dr. Belinda Martineau, a molecular geneticist who was principal scientist at Calgene, Inc. when they introduced the first genetically engineered food, the “Flavr Savr” tomato, in 1994. The tomato was labeled and was initially so popular that one store had to limit customers to two tomatoes per day -- proving that transparency can be a good thing all around.
Yet no genetically engineered product has been labeled in the United States since then. And today, Monsanto and the other major pesticide and junk food companies are spending $45 million to defeat a citizen's initiative for our right to labels. Why? It’s pretty simple: They believe their optimal business model depends upon secrecy and a lack of transparency. They don’t want to provide consumers a choice.
Guest blog by Paul Matteucci
California’s Prop 37 requires food makers to label most food products, when they contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Now, the word “organisms” is unfortunate, as it conjures up notions of super bacteria, manufactured with benign intent, but possessing some latent quality that devastates mankind. And, in fact, that is what some GMO detractors believe could happen. Others want more testing and regulation; and still others just want to know what’s in their food. Many liberals simply don’t trust the suppliers of GMO products, mostly big agriculture companies, to do what is best for customers, over what is best for their earning reports.