Genetically modified foods will not require labels in California, voters decided Tuesday. Chemical and processed food companies, led by biotech giant Monsanto, injected $46 million into a campaign to defeat Proposition 37, while labeling advocates raised just $9.2 million.
Among the biggest spenders in the anti-labeling fight were junk food companies Coca-Cola and Nestle, which rely on genetically modified corn and soy to sweeten their products. Pesticide company DuPont also shelled out millions. These companies claimed that GMOs are harmless and would unfairly bias people against their products. However, the FDA does not require safety studies before approving new strains, and mounting evidence shows that GMO crops have led to a rise of evolved weeds and pests that can withstand increasingly higher doses of potent pesticides.
California is the 21st state that has tried and failed to pass labeling legislation in the past year. The GMO industry has less of a grip abroad; more than 60 countries including China, Europe, Australia and Japan require labels on GMO products.