This assault brought to you by Big Organic
After two decades fighting to force U.S. food companies to tell consumers when their products are made with genetically modified organisms, activists in California have mounted what is potentially their most promising offensive to date.
In November, voters in the nation’s most populous state will decide whether to require labels on food and drinks containing so-called GMOs, or ingredients that come from plants whose DNA has been manipulated by scientists.
To fight the initiative, seed giant Monsanto Co, soda and snack seller PepsiCo Inc and other opponents of the labeling measure have put up $25 million already and could raise up to $50 million.
Foodmakers, like carmakers, know that what starts in California has a fair chance of becoming the national law, or at least the national norm.
Unbeknownst to many Americans, some of the most popular U.S. GMO crops — corn, soybeans and canola — have been staple ingredients for years in virtually every type of packaged food, from soup and tofu to breakfast cereals and chips.
Supporters of the ballot initiative, who include food and environmental activists as well as organic growers, say consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat and want GMO products cut from the food chain.