Companies You Need to Avoid That are Giving Money to Stop Proposition 37 (GMO Labeling)

by on August 30, 2012 · 4 comments

in Activism, Business, Food & Drink, Politics

 

By Katherine Paul / Organic Consumers Association

The next time you take a swig of Odwalla’s Organic Carrot Juice, or munch on a bowl of Orville Redenbacher’s Organic popcorn, take note: A lot of popular organic and all-natural brands are made by companies that are spending thousands of dollars to defeat Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

Donations are pouring into the campaign to defeat Prop 37. Among the big donors are companies like J.M. Smucker, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Co., Coca-Cola North America and PepsiCo. – companies that make a fortune marketing ‘natural’ and organic brands with slogans like “We’re good to the earth.”

All of these companies are members of the powerful Washington, DC-based Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), a multi-billion-dollar trade association which represents America’s $1.2 trillion “Big Food” industry. The GMA itself has already pitched in $375,000 to the anti-labeling campaign. And it’s still early in the game.

The GMA has more than 300 dues-paying members,  many of whom are purveyors of popular ‘natural’ and organic brands. These companies have either developed or acquired those brands in order to tap into the growing market for organic and “natural” foods: Annual sales of “natural” food products are estimated at $50 billion, organic at $30 billion.

We assume all GMA members oppose Prop 37, or they wouldn’t approve GMA’s hefty donations to the anti-labeling campaign. Those members include Starbucks, which sells a number of organic coffee brands, and Kraft, maker of Boca Burgers. Safeway, Inc. is also a member of GMA. The supermarket chain pockets annual sales of $400 million from its store-owned  O-Organics brand. You would think a company that markets “Ingredients for Life”   might stand up in favor of no GMO ingredients?

Safeway is an assumption, but when it comes to a long list of other GMA members, no assumptions are necessary. Here’s a list of food companies, all GMA members, and all marketers of “natural” and organic brands, who have directly donatedto the campaign against GMO labeling – over and above the $375,000 the GMA has contributed on behalf of all its members.

COMPANY DONATION ORGANIC/NATURAL BRANDS
Pepsi-Co $1,716,300
  • Tostito’s Organic
  • Tropicana Organic
  • Naked Juice
Coca-Cola $1,164,400
  • Odwalla
  • Honest Tea
ConAgra $1,076,700
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Organic
  • Hunt’s Organic
  • Alexia Foods
  • Lightlife
Kellogg’s $632,500
  • Keebler Organic
  • Kellogg’s Organic
  • Bear Naked
  • Kashi
  • Morningstar Farms
  • Wholesome & Hearty
J.M Smucker $388,000
  • Santa Cruz Organics
  • Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter
  • R.W. Knudsen
  • Natural Brew
  • Tenderleaf Tea
Hormel Foods $374,300
  • Natural Choice
General Mills $519,401
  • Small Planet Foods
  • Cascadian Farm
  • Muir Glen
  • Gold Medal Organic
  • Larabar
Bimbo Bakeries $338,300
  • Earth Grains
DelMonte $189,975
  • DelMonte brand organic pickles
  • DelMonte brand organic canned tomato products
  • Fruit Naturals
Hershey $395,100
  • Dagoba
Dean Foods $253,950
  • White Wave/Silk
  • Horizon
  • Organic Cow of Vermont
Campbell Soup Co. $70,455
  • V8 Organic
  • Prego Organic
  • Swanson’s Organic
  • Pace Organic
  • Campbell’s Organic
  • Bolthouse Farms
McCormick $248,200
  • McCormick Organic Spices

 

avatar Mister Groucho August 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

Wow,
Good list. I already don’t use these products. Any off label of generic-like items these companies might produce? Maybe I can avoid those too.
By the way, does Trader Joes sell any of those listed items.? Let’s go talk directly to store mangers and people who order inventories?!

avatar Frank J August 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I’m in Cal and even my mislead rightie co-workers and friends are voting for it. This list surprises me and sure narrows some food groups.
The Citizen’s United decision by the right leaning Supreme Court basically says corporations are people and money is speech… therefore unlimited amounts of $$$ can go into any election with zero accountability. Keep this in mind for the general election, 2-3 Supreme Court seats will likely open in the next term and just how badly do you want a Democracy or a corporate plutocracy? This Prop 37 is just a prelude, and a fine example.

avatar John Lawrence August 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I just bought some Swanson’s organic soy powder never thinking it was a subsidiary of Campbell soup. Are all organic products put out by a company which has contributed to the GMA suspect of being authentically organic? Or is it that they don’t want their non-organic food lines labeled.

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