California voters have decided they can live without labels on genetically modified food. This means the state will not be at odds with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s policy of not labelling GM foods, which goes back more than two decades.
By a vote of 53 to 47 percent, the Golden State voted "No" on Proposition 37.
The vote was a stunning reversal for an initiative that easily started out with better than two-to-one support in California. One national pollster last March found that nine out of ten Americans supported labeling GE foods.
But after what rates as a fully engaged campaign for California, Prop. 37 saw that support evaporate under the pressure of a paid campaign by opponents and the "Yes" campaign's failure to write and explain the law they wanted voters to pass.
Prop. 37 was a big bucks California initiative with funding that totaled $54.5 million. The "No" campaign had the most to spend, with $45.6 million, but the "Yes" side was not without financial resources, coming in with $8.9 million.
Map Light, a nonprofit that tracks California campaign spending, reports that Monsanto Company spent the most on Prop. 37, with $8.112 million going to the "No" campaign. DuPont was second, giving the "No" side" $5.4 million.
Others in the top ten contributing to the "No" campaign included PepsiCo, Grocery Manufactures Association, BASF Plant Science, Bayer Cropscience, Dow Agrosciences LLC, Syngenta Corp., Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola.