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How Monsanto Flipped the Vote

(Photo: DC Central Kitchen / Flickr)

Sixty countries across the world label groceries containing genetically engineered ingredients so that consumers can know what is in their food and make their own choices about what they eat. For months, it seemed almost certain that California would be the first US state to join them.

Statewide polls showed that Proposition 37, a ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods enjoyed support from more than 65 percent of Californians. But six weeks before the election, everything changed. With Monsanto leading the way, the world’s wealthiest biotech, agrochemical and processed foods companies raised $46 million to defeat Prop 37.

Their misleading ad campaign falsely implied that the World Health Organization had endorsed GMO foods as safe, and that the Food and Drug Administration opposed the ballot initiative. Of course, the mainstream media didn’t object.

It worked. After weeks of statewide ad runs, the poll numbers flipped, and Prop 37 was defeated.

Big companies like Monsanto spend millions of dollars to skew the truth and keep consumers in the dark. That’s why fearless reporting on Monsanto and its friends in Washington – the kind that Truthout continues to do with your support – is so crucial.

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