The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) last week called for a national boycott of the popular natural and organic brands owned by ten parent companies that donated to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative.
Among the largest bankrollers of the NO on 37 campaign were huge multinational food and beverage companies whose subsidiaries make billions selling popular organic and ‘natural’ brands, said Ronnie Cummins, Director of the OCA and the Organic Consumers Fund, which donated more than $1 million to the YES on 37 campaign.
“It’s time to send these companies a message: Either start supporting GMO labeling initiatives, including the upcoming one in Washington State, or consumers will stop buying your products,” Cummins said.
Prop 37 was narrowly defeated on November 6, thanks to a relentless $46-million advertising blitz.
Among the food companies that helped to defeat the measure were:
* PepsiCo (Donated $2.5M): Naked Juice, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana Organic
* Kraft (Donated $2M): Boca Burgers and Back to Nature
* Safeway (Member of Grocery Manufacturers Association, which donated $2M):“O” Organics
* Coca-Cola (Donated $1.7M): Honest Tea, Odwalla
* General Mills (Donated $1.2M): Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar
* Con-Agra (Donated $1.2M): Orville Redenbacher’s Organic, Hunt’s Organic, Lightlife, Alexia
* Kellogg’s (Donated $791k): Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger
* Smucker’s (Donated $555k ): R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic
* Unilever (Donated $467k): Ben & Jerry’s
* Dean Foods (Donated $254k): Horizon, Silk, White Wave
The OCA’s million-plus network of consumers, along with the 5 million Californians who voted yes on 37 and the 90 percent of consumers nationwide who want mandatory GMO labeling, are gearing up for the next GMO labeling battles, in Washington State, Vermont, and Connecticut, Cummins said.
The boycott is part of a strategy to force the parent companies of organic and natural brands to side with consumers, or risk losing their brand loyalty, Cummins said.