The Organic Consumers Association, Organic Consumers Fund, FoodDemocracyNow!, Alliance for Alternative Health and a broad coalition of food, farm, natural health, public interest and environmental groups, joined by leading organic food companies across the country, raised more than $1 million online between May 1 and May 26 to support the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, a citizens' ballot initiative.
The $1 million was matched by Mercola.com along with Nature's Path, Lundberg Family Farms and Eden Foods.
“The success of this campaign speaks to the passion shared by people from all walks of life, regardless of political persuasion, for the basic right to know what’s in our food,” said Ronnie Cummins, director of the OCA and OCF. “It’s also a testament to the willingness of a wide range of organizations, including consumer protection, environmental, health, farming and food, to pool talent and resources to fight powerful companies like Monsanto.”
Cummins added: “Contributors to this campaign ranged from large, for-profit natural health companies like Mercola.com to a classroom of students at Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., who donated the proceeds from a music CD they produced. Small donations from over 15,000 individuals played a huge role in the campaign’s success.”
All of the money raised will be used to support the California Right to Know campaign and other state GMO labeling campaigns.
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is a citizens’ ballot initiative that, if passed November 6, will require that all genetically engineered foods and food ingredients be labeled, and will ban the industry practice of labeling or marketing GMO foods as “natural.” The campaign has collected almost 1 million signatures of California registered voters—almost twice as many as required—and is awaiting official certification on July 19 before being assigned a proposition number.
The opposition to GMO labeling, which includes groups backed and funded by organizations like the Council for Biotechnology Information and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, is expected to spend more than $60 million to defeat the initiative.
Although the deadline for the “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto” matching gift campaign was May 26, the OCA and other pro-labeling groups will continue to raise money for the California Right to Know campaign right up until voting takes place in November, Cummins said.