The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
$51 Million: That's How Much Big Food Spent So Far This Year to Defeat GMO Labeling
A new analysis from Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that big food and biotech companies have vastly increased their lobbying expenditures in the first half of 2015. The main reason is the support they've provided for the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, also known as the DARK Act, which the House passed last month, despite the fact that 9 out 10 Americans want genetically engineered food, or GMOs, to be labeled.
The legislation prevents states from developing their own GMO labeling laws and from prohibiting “natural” claims on GMO foods. The bill also makes it virtually impossible for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to adopt mandatory national GMO labeling.
In the first six months of this year, Coca-Cola ($5,040,000), PepsiCo ($3,230,000), Kraft ($1,180,000), Kellogg’s ($1,310,000), General Mills ($1,100,000) and Land O’Lakes ($720,000) disclosed the largest lobbying expenditures that mentioned GMO labeling, according to EWG analysis.
“With the House passing the DARK Act last month, Big Food will certainly re-stock the cash pipeline and unleash its army of lobbyists who are pushing the Senate to pass the DARK Act and deny Americans in every state the right to know what’s in their food,” says Libby Foley, a policy analyst with EWG and author of the report.
The spending from proponents of GMO labeling, such as EWG and Just Label It, was dwarfed by Big Food. "The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents these and other food manufacturers, reported expenditures of $5.1 million" and "hired 32 lobbyists exclusively to advocate for legislation to block state and federal GMO labeling," reports EWG. Since 2013, industry lobbyists have outspent GMO labeling advocates by 25-to-1.
“The gap between the amount of money spent by Big Food and that spent by public interest groups is simply mind-boggling,” Foley said.
Just Label It's latest video asked celebrity moms what they think about Big Food companies denying them the right to know what's in their kids' food.
See what they had to say:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?
For the past seven years, the Anishinaabe people have been facing the largest tar sands pipeline project in North America. We still are. In these dying moments of the fossil fuel industry, Water Protectors stand, prepared for yet another battle for the water, wild rice and future of all. We face Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in North America, and the third largest corporation in Canada. We face it unafraid and eyes wide open, for indeed we see the future.
By Mara Dolan
We see the effects of the climate crisis all around us in hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and rising sea levels, but our proximity to these things, and how deeply our lives are changed by them, are not the same for everyone. Frontline groups have been leading the fight for environmental and climate justice for centuries and understand the critical connections between the climate crisis and racial justice, economic justice, migrant justice, and gender justice. Our personal experiences with climate change are shaped by our experiences with race, gender, and class, as the climate crisis often intensifies these systems of oppression.