It’s boycott time again.
With less than two weeks to go before voters in Oregon and Colorado decide on ballot initiatives to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the Junk Food Giants are at it again.
According to the latest numbers provided by the pro-labeling campaigns (as of October 22, 2014), the opposition in Oregon has raised $16.5 million to defeat Measure 92, while opponents of Colorado’s Proposition 105 have raised $14.3 million.
Monsanto is the largest donor to both campaigns, with combined donations totaling approximately $8.8 million. While Dow has spent only $668,000 total in both states, DuPont Pioneer just yesterday dumped a whopping $3 million into the Colorado NO on Prop 105 war chest.
But apart from Monsanto, and now DuPont Pioneer, the most prolific donors to the campaigns intent on defeating the Oregon and Colorado GMO labeling initiatives have been large, multinational food corporations. Many of these corporations own organic and “natural” brands—brands we’ve been asking consumers to boycott ever since Big Food helped defeat Proposition 37, California’s citizen-led GMO labeling initiative, in 2012.
Has the boycott strategy worked?
Aside from a couple of exceptions, the “Traitor Boycott” clearly hasn’t kept Big Food from continuing to make anti-labeling campaign contributions. But there’s evidence that the reputations, and in some cases, revenues, of some of the natural and organic brands have suffered. And even more evidence to suggest that some of their parent companies, including big anti-labeling donors Coca-Cola and General Mills, are struggling to overcome declining profits and consumer distrust.
This much is clear: It’s time to step up the pressure on all of the brands owned by companies that are pouring millions of dollars into defeating your right to know.