California voters reject mandatory GMO labelling

California voters in yesterday’s U.S. election have rejected a measure that would have made the labelling of genetically modified food mandatory in the state.

With nearly 95 percent of the vote counted, the Guardian newspaper reported today that 53 percent voted against the proposition and 47 percent were in favour.

Only a few weeks ago, polls indicated that a majority of Californians supported the “right to know” proposition.

Over the last couple of weeks, organic food advocates have claimed that Monsanto and other agribusiness giants used vast sums of money to defeat the measure. According to some estimates, the companies and agriculture associations spent $45 million on advertising and lobbying leading up to the Nov. 6 vote.


Despite the accusations of corporate influence, a long list of credible scientific institutions campaigned against the proposed GM labelling law.

The National Academy of Sciences, the American Council on Science and Health, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association all argued that GM foods are safe and that labelling is unnecessary.

“There is no scientific justification for special labelling of bioengineered foods,” the AMA said in a statement.


  • Russ Sakundiak

    Who are the credible scientific institutions ??.If the product is good what is the problem.All this tells me is stay away from anything that could contain GMO.

    • Bill

      The credible scientific institutions were the American Council on Science and Health, the World Health Organization as well as the Amerian Medical Association.

      There were likely others that were too numerous to count as well.

  • Bill

    You have to look at this from a business point of view.

    The foods produed by GMO’s are 100% completely safe, we have been eating GMO foods for over 30 years with no visible detrimental health effects!

    But, if labelling were introduced, the organic crowd, as well as the public who has been brainwashed into thinking that GMO is somehow extremely dangerous to their health, on par with eating heavy metals, will immediately quit buying anything with that GMO label on it.

    Obviously the companies are going to fight something that will inevitably hurt their bottom line, it only makes sense for them to do so.

  • Marc

    Bill, your response is crap. The business point of view is skewed and refuses to look beyond the rhetoric provided by the agri-industrial vested interests and propaganda.
    There is no credible science to support gmos being safe for human health, let alone the environment. The AMA for example is as bought out by Big Pharma and biotech proponents, as are many farmer organizations. Greed, power, and Money clouds over the truth.

    The regulatory system in the US and Canada sucks. CFIA and Heath Canada have a very lame approach which uses ‘substantial equivalence’ as a benchmark which is as unscientific as you can get. Proponents of gmos, the agribusiness and pharma industry are allowed to provide biased results as to food and environmental safety. Politicians being bought out and government bureaucrats going through revolving doors with the biotech industry and muscling in their false ways of providing ‘products’ meant for consumption.
    A steadily growing number of proven scientific studies show that gmos in our food are detrimental to human health. Most mainstream news media, including the WP, unfortunately and obviously side with the biotech and agrochemicals industry.
    Cheerleaders for the biotech industry should never be trusted to be spokespersons for farmers and agriculture in general, or for consumers.
    The biotech companies and other detractors from the truth, poured those millions of dollars into a brainwashing and disinformation campaign in California. But consider that despite that deceit, 47% of those who voted had sense enough to vote for labelling. Next time there will be a majority and justice will prevail, finally.