by Brian Shilhavy

The LA Times is reporting today that support for Proposition 37, the statewide ballot measure in California to label genetically engineered foods, has seen its voter support plummet during the last month, and a new poll shows it is a dead heat. After a barrage of negative television advertisements, financed by a $41-million opposition war chest, a USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times poll released Thursday showed 44% of surveyed voters backing the initiative and 42% opposing it. A previous USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times poll taken Sept. 17 to 23, had 61% in favor, 25% opposed, and 14% undecided.

Here are the top contributors to funding the barrage of advertisements opposing the labeling of GMO foods:

(Source: California Secretary of State campaign finance data)

As a resident of California myself, but one who does not watch much TV and therefore had not seen any of the TV ads opposing Proposition 37, I was shocked when I found a four-page glossy advertisement in my mailbox today attacking those of us who support your right to know what you are eating. It also included this attack against Dr. Joseph Mercola:

The first thing to notice here is that if these figures are correct, and Dr. Mercola is the largest contributor to supporting the label GMO initiative, he would not even crack the top 10 of those opposing it, those who funded the advertisement this attack appeared in. As far as the logic of saying that Dr. Mercola sells supplements that are exempt from being labeled under this initiative, and would therefore profit financially, that makes about as much sense as saying the entire home builders industry will profit from this measure being passed, because the trees used to make lumber are exempt from labeling. If someone is not selling products derived from GMOs now, and will not therefore have to start labeling them, there is no logic at all in thinking this will somehow now increase sales for those products. This appears to be another effort by the GMO industry to confuse the issues because they cannot support the facts surrounding the real issues regarding GMO foods, which is that people want to know if they are eating GMO foods or not. The real truth here is that the companies listed above that oppose this ballot measure are the ones currently profiting from GMO food sales. They stand to lose a lot of revenue if consumers have a choice to know if they are buying GMO foods or not, as is the case in Europe and many other countries around the world today.

So let’s not be confused, and let’s understand what the real non-partisan issues are here. We published a great video from Dr. Bernhoft explaining the REAL issues surrounding GMOs and why we would want them labeled, and you can also share this video with those living in California on Facebook here.