Calif. 'Frankenfood' Bill in Death Spiral After Ad War

Opponents spend $46M in GMO labeling battle
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2012 6:27 AM CST
Updated Nov 5, 2012 7:40 AM CST
Calif. 'Frankenfood' Bill in Death Spiral After Ad War
This Sept. 30, 2002 file photo shows labeling advertising no genetically engineered ingredients.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

At first, advocates for California's Proposition 37 seemed to be skipping off to victory—but with the vote approaching, it now appears that opponents have engineered a stunning turnaround. Monsanto, DuPont, and Pepsi have spent some $46 million against the measure, which would require the labeling of genetically-modified food. In a raft of television ads, opponents argue that it would hike family grocery bills by $400 a year while hurting farmers. And the ads seem to have worked: A month ago, some two-thirds of likely voters supported the measure; now, just 39% support it, while 51% oppose it.

The "No on 37" campaign is among California's best-funded ballot battles ever, Reuters notes. Opponents have spent about six times what advocates have spent. It's been compared to the fight against a proposed tobacco tax measure earlier this year, which was defeated despite initially having 70% support. An anti-smoking activist says in both cases, ads weren't "arguing with the premise of the initiatives, but rather making picky criticisms of the details of the initiatives." (More California stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.