Californians voted against a statewide initiative which would have required labels on all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)(photo: GreenBiz)
What a field day for Monsanto -- come to California and intimidate voters into doing exactly what they are told to do. Amazing, great job by the world's most ruthless corporations.
It started with a simple question and a simple answer. Do the people of California have the right to know if the food products they are buying contain Genetically Modified (GM) food products? The answer on September 27th was Yes, by a 2 to 1 margin. But six weeks later on November 6th, it went down to defeat by a 47% to 53% margin.
How did this happen?
Fear, intimidation, ignorance and lack of resolve on the part of the people of the state of California. Yes, the corporations with a vested interest in defeating Prop 37 were able to marshal a $44 million dollar war chest, and they could have spent $44 million more had they chosen to do so.
But the people of California failed to stand their ground; failed to defend their right to know what is in the food they are buying, and failed to protect the integrity of the state's balloting process from being bought by out-of-state interests.
California has the reputation for being a trend-setting state. This time around, the trend was set by Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, BASF and Syngenta among others. The trend -- if the rest of the country cares to follow -- is bow down to corporate agriculture, allow yourselves to be intimidated, buy into lies, do not trust your instincts, and allow the entire world's food supply to be controlled by a few wealthy and ruthless corporations.
This is a bad precedent, and another victory for John Roberts and his clients at Citizens United. Californians had an opportunity to lead, instead they ended up being led like sheep away from their best interests. This is one trend the rest of the country would do well not to follow.