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Debunked: 6 Lies That Biotech and Big Food Are Telling Voters About Prop 37

Monsanto and the rest of the Biotech and Big Food gang have been pounding the California airwaves with nearly $36 million worth of boldface lies and twisted truths.

Photo Credit: zentilia/


Since Oct. 1, Monsanto and the rest of the Biotech and Big Food gang have been pounding the California airwaves with nearly $36 million worth of boldface lies and twisted truths.

Their goal? Misinform and confuse California voters into believing they’d be better off not knowing what pesticide-makers are hiding in their foods, than they would be if food manufacturers had to label genetically modified foods.

The ads are having an impact. After enjoying a 26-point lead for the past six months, the YES on 37 campaign has dropped 19 points in the polls.

But the YES team is fighting back, calling out the lies. And the liars. They’ve already forced the opposition to pull its first TV ad and re-shoot it after exposing the ad’s dubious spokesperson, Henry Miller, for misrepresenting himself and Stanford University.

Miller, a long-time front man for Big Tobacco and Big Oil, doesn’t have an ounce of credibility. Neither do the folks working behind him. No sooner had the Stanford University kerfuffle simmered down, than the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics accused the campaign of misleading voters by falsely stating, in the Official Voter Information Guide, that the Academy opposes Prop 37. In fact, the Academy has not taken an official position on the initiative.

The American Medical Association and the World Health Organization/United Nations also called out the NO campaign for misrepresenting their statements and positions on Prop 37.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s a campaign full of bunk. Lies perpetrated by liars. Yet some voters will continue to buy it unless we de-bunk it for them.

Here are a few of the most confusing, most dishonest, and most widely circulated misstatements and outright lies hitting California’s airwaves, newspapers, and blogs.

1. BUNK: Prop 37 is full of “arbitrary” exemptions that don’t make sense.

Here’s what doesn’t make sense. Trotting out the likes of Henry Miller – a guy who still thinks DDT is a good idea – to convince voters that GMO labeling is a bad idea. Miller does a masterful job of twisting the truth and confusing voters about why, under Prop 37, some products will require labels and others won’t. But if you take away the smoke and mirrors and look at the facts - as carefully explained by the YES on 37 campaign - every single exemption in Prop 37 is guided by common sense.

For example:

  • Meat, cheese, milk and eggs from animals. If an animal is genetically engineered, the meat from that animal would be labeled under Prop 37. (So far, genetically engineered salmon is the only imminent possibility here). But meat, cheese, dairy, and eggs from animals that have been fed genetically engineered food? No labels. After all, a steak from a cow that ate GE corn is no more a genetically engineered cow, than you’re a genetically engineered human because you ate an ear of GE corn. Soy milk labeled? Yes, if it contains GE soy. Milk from a cow? No GE ingredients, no label. This exemption is common all around the world. Would the NO on 37 campaign have preferred a stricter law in California than the international standard for GMO labeling?
  • Food from restaurants and bake sales. When’s the last time you saw a label listing the ingredients in the seafood pasta you ate at a restaurant or the pizza you took out from the local pizza joint? Never. Because while we have strict labeling laws for food purchased at grocery stores, we don’t have similar laws for foods we order in restaurants. Why would GMO labeling laws be any different?
  • Alcohol. Alcohol labeling is regulated under different laws than food at both the federal and state levels. Because of the single-subject law in California that requires initiatives to apply to only one subject, Prop 37 doesn’t include alcohol. (This is also true for medical food, which is exempted from Prop 37.)

Check out the YES on 37 website for more on Prop 37 exemptions and why they make perfect sense.

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