If money were votes, the California battle over whether to require labeling of food products made from genetically modified organisms -- or GMOs -- would have a clear winner.
We have the folks at Maplight, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics, to thank for their analysis of the money being thrown at the proposed California legislation, Proposition 37.
Their analysis (see news release here) of funding received through Aug. 8 shows who has a high-stakes interest in the matter. As you might expect, organic and alternative health-oriented companies support labeling. Food and beverage, agricultural and chemical companies oppose it.
The news release includes a link to a spread sheet showing more than 800 people who contributed to one side or the other -- from accountants and acupuncturists to veterinarians and writers, as well as companies. A bunch of local folks are in there, after contributing $100 and up. Local companies who anted up (in opposition to labeling): Bimbo Bakeries in Horsham (makers of Entemann's), Hershey Company in Hershey and Campbell Soup Co. in Camden.
The top funders of those who oppose labeling, which got $25 million overall:
- Monsanto Company: $4,208,000
- E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.: $4,025,200
- PepsiCo, Inc.: $1,716,300
The top funders of those who support labeling, which got $2 million, or less than a tenth of the opposing funding:
- Mercola.com Health Resources LLC: $800,000
- Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc.: $290,000
- Nature's Path Foods U.S.A. Inc. Fine Natural Food Products: $250,709