GMOs Causing Food Fight in California

By:  Lauren Fox

Forget presidential politics. In California, the hot election battle is being waged over what sits on your dinner plate.

In November, Californians will vote on proposition 37, a controversial measure that would make the state the first in the country to require food producers to label genetically engineered foods.

A few words printed on the side of a box or stuck on a package may seen unobtrusive enough, but opponents are pouring millions of dollars into stopping the ballot initiative in its tracks.

Two biotech companies, Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, who have been on the forefront of crop innovation and have led the GMO food movement, have thrown down more than $12 million alone to stop the initiative. They are part of a growing coalition of grocers, food producers, and farmers who have raised nearly $36 million to beat the referendum in November.

Proponents of the bill, who have raised $7 million and have used star power to raise awareness about the proposition, say consumers have the right to know what's in their food.

Performers like Danny DeVito, Bill Maher, Dave Matthews and exercise guru Jillian Michaels have spoken up for GMO labeling in a new political ad.

But Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for the "No on 37" campaign says the measure would hit consumers with higher grocery bills, cost the state of California about $1 million a year in administrative costs and make grocers and farmers susceptible to lawsuits.

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