Companies selling products exempt from labeling requirements have provided the lion’s share of the funding for the measure. Of those, the largest funder to date is a no-longer-practicing doctor, Joseph Mercola from Illinois, who has contributed $800,000 and who owns the website Mercola.com, selling “natural” and some organic foods. Many foods and products sold through his website would be exempt from labeling requirements in this measure.

Mercola also blogs and YouTubes frequently, dispensing controversial and unconventional medical advice which has drawn three warning letters from the FDA. Mercola has stated, for instance, “There is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives”, he is opposed to chemotherapy, he believes baking soda can help cure cancer, and is opposed to childhood immunizations and fluoride in water.

Mercola and other organic food corporations funding the measure have written on blogs and been quoted in news articles saying GE labeling is equivalent to putting a “skull and crossbones” on food products, an acknowledgement that scary-sounding labels will help them gain market share. “

(For more, see: Campaign to label biotech foods a waste of time and money)

Measure Unnecessary

There have been more than 300 independent medical studies on the health and safety of foods made using genetically engineered ingredients. The World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association and many others have all come to the conclusion that foods made using GE ingredients are safe, and are not materially different than other foods. As a result, the FDA does not require labels on foods with genetically engineered ingredients because these labels will only serve to confuse and mislead consumers into thinking these food products are unsafe, which isn’t true.

Organizations Opposed

Organizations opposed to the measure include the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Independent Grocers Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, California Taxpayer Protection Committee, California Women for Agriculture, Council for Biotechnology Information, California Retailers Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, California League of Food Processors and many others. The coalition continues to grow each day. A full list can be found here.

Paid for by the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition, sponsored by farmers and food producers, major funding by Council for Biotechnology Information and Grocery Manufacturers Association.