Recently, a campaign to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs) in the marketplace has gained popularity with many Americans. The idea originated in California, where citizens have the ability to create laws and place them on the ballot. It is known as Proposition 37, and in a short period of time, it has attracted the attention of many passionate supporters, including celebrity chefs Cat Cora and Mario Batali. However, many popular, organic food brands oppose Prop 37, and while their motives aren’t exactly clear, it all appears to come down to money.
California Prop 37: The supporters and the opposition
The Cornucopia Institute released information regarding which brands are for Prop 37 and which ones are against it. Annie’s, Late July, Applegate and Uncle Matt’s are part of approximately 40 supporting brands, while Kashi, Welch’s, Horizon and Heinz are among those against the idea. Dissenters also include many brands that are well-loved and trusted by people around the country, like Honest Tea and Lara Bar. Most of the brands opposed are part of larger companies; for example, Horizon is a brand belonging to Dean Foods and Kashi is part of Kellogg.So far, the opposition has contributed nearly 35 million dollars in an effort to stop GMO labeling. Check out the infographic below to see if your favorite brand is on that list.
This seems to be a classic case of greenwashing or green sheen, when a company intentionally gives out erroneous facts about their service or product in an attempt to get the public to buy it. In this case, the companies are promoting themselves as being invested in the “green” movement, although behind the scenes, they are trying to stop environmental laws from going into effect. While these companies aren’t the first to do it, that certainly doesn’t make it okay; when green washing occurs, the public becomes wary and skeptical of all environmental triumphs, even the legitimate ones.
Taking a stand
There are a few things that the public can do to fight back against these companies. First, go to the Prop 37 petition online and sign it. Start a campaign and write to companies that haven’t contributed monetarily to helping Prop 37 succeed. Let the companies that have contributed know how much you appreciate what they have done. Also, work toward becoming greener in your own life. Whether it is as simple as installing energy-efficient lighting, working with a green certified Danbury exterminator, or as complex as buying solar panels for homes, it is important to be a good example.
Finally, when you are out shopping, stay away from the brands that are fighting against GMO labeling. Let your family and friends know what you are doing so they can join in if they would like. Social media is a great way to get the word out.
Featured image credit: Organic Connections