Survey Says: Californians Support GE Labeling, Despite Industry Pressure

For Immediate Release:  January 9, 2013
Contact:  Paul Towers, 916-216-1082, ptowers@panna.org

Survey Says: Californians Support GE Labeling, Despite Industry Pressure

Oakland, CA – Independent poll results released today confirm that despite industry misinformation, and tens of millions of dollars in spending, a majority of Californians continue to support labeling of genetically engineered food. Following one of the most expensive ballot initiatives on the November ballot, Lake Research surveyed Californians to better understand voting patterns on Proposition 37: The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. People of color provided some of the strongest support for the measure, and 1-in-5 voters who voted against the measure still support the concept of labeling.

In response to the new poll, Paul Towers, Organizing & Media Director at Pesticide Action Network released the following statement:

“The people of California, especially Latino, Asian and African-American voters, saw through the insidious misinformation campaign of the pesticide industry. Despite the bombardment of TV ads and false mailers, a majority of Californians continue to support the right to know what’s in our food and how it’s grown.

The survey results confirm what our team of community organizers witnessed and heard in communities across the state, from the Los Angeles area to the Central Valley: a majority of Californians have concerns about genetically engineered food and want to be able to make informed choices.

In addition, many communities of color are on the frontlines of pesticide exposure. U.S. Department of Agriculture data and independent research continues to demonstrate that genetically engineered seeds and crops drive up pesticide use in agricultural communities, and keep farmers tethered to a pesticide treadmill.

And pesticide makers stand to make or lose the most. Monsanto and five other out-of-state corporations — BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta, collectively known as the “Big 6” — dominate the world’s seed and pesticide markets, and actively opposed the GE labeling initiative. Opposition to Proposition 37 spent more than $45 million, including $21 million from these six pesticide corporations.”

The poll was commissioned by the Center for Food Safety Action Fund. More details are available on their website.