The image above has been circulating around Facebook and Twitter all week in the circle of environmentalist. California voters have a chance to change our food supply this November by voting to have GMO’s labeled on packaging. There are many companies that are fighting this measure and putting their money where their mouth is.
As with all major political battles people look to see who is behind the money. The poster above from the Cornucopia Institute shows what companies are contributing money to fight the labeling campaign but what I think has struck people even more is their favorite organic companies are actually owned by big business.
- Izze and Naked Juice is owned by Pepsi has donated over $1.7 M
- Honest Tea, Odwalla, and Simply Orange is owned by Coca Cola has donated over $1M
- Kashi, Morning Star Farms, Garden Burger, and Bare Naked owned by Kellogg has donated over $600,000
- Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and Lara Bar owned by General Mills has donated $500,000
- RW Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic owned by Smuckers donated over $350,000
- Horizon Organic and Silk owned by Dean Foods donated over $250,000
So what does this mean for the GMO fight? Probably not that much. These parent companies have so many brands it does not mean that their fight against GMO labeling means they are going to use them in the “natural” products listed above. These parent companies also have a lot more money they can pump into this fight in the next 2 months. On the simplest level these companies have a reason to fight it because they have to change all their labeling.
What I think it shows consumers, and this is what shocked so many this week, is that our “healthy” food is actually part of the huge corporate food structure in the US. Our food supply is ruled by big business, a fact we all really know, but when we shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s we feel like we are beating big business and eating healthy. This food may still be healthier for us and have less impact on the planet but it is part of our modern food chain.
So do we run for the hills and assume we can never eat anything ever again? No, that is just not possible. We can get GMO’s labeled and know what we are eating. So if some of these big companies feel that they want to offer cheaper food with GMO’s we can avoid them. If we want to go to Whole Foods and choose food that does not contain GMO’s we can do that to.
We cannot change the modern food supply overnight so we need to make sure that we are informed so our choices can make the food supply what we really want it to be.