I desperately wanted Prop 37 to pass. I posted countless Facebook status updates on it, proudly displayed my yard sign, wore a “Vote Yes on Prop 37″ button on my purse, and furiously blogged about it on this very site, but in the end, the money won out. I’ll admit I was pretty down yesterday and feeling a bit lost about where we go from here. Then, I saw this message from one of our followers:

I Woke Up Angry

I’m sure plenty of people are happy that Obama has another 4 years instead of the other guy and his magic underwear but not me. For me these two are too similar (well I’m sure that depends on which version of Mitt you get on any given day) and for me, the only thing I really cared about was PROP 37. I say vote with your wallet!!

These companies will NOT get my money any longer. It will take some time but I will know this list by heart and as difficult as it will be, the Grocery Manufacturers Association will feel my wrath. I may have to drive a little further, plan a little further in advance and pay more, but I will not step foot in or buy from their businesses any longer. My voice is but one, but it’s mine and it will be heard.

You guys keep “fighting the good fight!”

- Just Some Random Guy

At the bottom of his note was link to a list of all the companies that contributed to the No on Prop 37 campaign:

Donor Amount
Monsanto $8,112,867
E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. $5,400,000
Pepsico, Inc. $2,145,400
Grocery Manufacturers Association $2,002,000
DOW Agrisciences $2,000,000
Bayer Cropscience $2,000,000
BASF Plant Science $2,000,000
Syngenta Corporation $2,000,000
Kraft Foods Global $1,950,500
Coca-Cola North America $1,700,500
Nestle USA $1,315,600
Conagra Foods $1,176,700
General Mills $1,135,300
Kellogg Company $790,000
Smithfield Foods $683,900
Del Monte Foods $674,100
Campbell’s Soup $500,000
Heinz Foods $500,000
Hershey Company $493,900
The J.M. Smucker Company $485,000
Bimbo Bakeries $422,900
Ocean Spray Cranberries $387,100
Mars Food North America $376,650
Council for Biotechnology Information $375,000
Hormel Foods $374,300
Unilever $372,100
Bumble Bee Foods $368,500
Sara Lee $343,600
Kraft Food Group $304,500
Pinnacle Foods $266,100
Dean Foods Company $253,950
Biotechnology Industry Organization $252,000
Bunge North America $248,600
McCormick & Company $248,200
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company $237,664
Abbott Nutrition $234,500
Cargill, Inc. $226,846
Rich Products Corporation $225,537
Flowers Foods $182,000
Dole Packaged Foods $171,261
Knouse Foods Cooperative $164,731

Other food companies who contributed to the “no” campaign (but with checks of less than $150,000) included Sunny Delight Beverages, McCain Foods, Tree Top, Idahoan Foods, Richelieu Foods, Land O’Lakes, Hillshire Brands, Morton Salt, Clorox, Goya de Puerto Rico, Sargento and Godiva Chocolatier.

This is the list of businesses that this man will be boycotting. You may notice that the author of this note mentions the Grocery Manufactures Association (GMA) by name. If you look above, this group donated over $2 million dollars to defeat Prop 37.  Pamela Bailey, GMA President, even told the American Soybean Association in a recent speech that defeating the initiative “is the single-highest priority for GMA this year.” So who exactly is this group and what do they do? Here is what their website says:

The Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 businesses in the consumer packaged goods industry and closely related fields. We pride ourselves in serving large, international brands and regional brands, as well as foodservice companies and industry service providers from consulting, technology, logistics and other sectors.

What they really are is a group that lobbies for and against laws and regulation which benefit their members. This is the group that fights against marketing junk food to kids, restricting or eliminating soft drinks and sugar from schools, and any mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), really anything that would hurt their members’ bottom line. Members like PepsiCo, Monsanto, Heinz, Kellogg, Chiquita, Starbucks (gulp) and Target (double gulp). I was going to list all 300 businesses the GMA represents, but this blog post would be a mile long. Instead, I’ll post the link so you can familiarize yourself with the list: GMA Member Directory. Scrolling through the companies shows me how difficult it would be to completely avoid GMA members. If fact, I think it would be far more helpful to have a list of food companies who are not members. If we find one such list, we’ll post it (in the meantime, here is a list of companies who supported Prop 37) While far from perfect, stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are not members. The downside? You’re likely supporting a GMA member without even knowing it when you buy their store brand products (since you really have no idea who makes that food). I suppose we’ll just have to grow all our own food, milk our own cow, and grind our own wheat for bread making (yes I’m joking…well kind of).

In response to Just Some Random Guy, I say this: We share your disappointment in Prop 37 not passing. We admire your conviction and dedication to truly “voting with your wallet and fork.” If everyone who voted “Yes” on Prop 37 made a concerted effort to avoid buying from those who want to hide the truth from us consumers, we will send a message. This is the beginning, not the end. This is the awakening. One thing Prop 37 did was start the conversation and begin educating people who were otherwise completely in the dark about genetically engineered foods. We will have labeling of GMOs on our food like 60+ other countries already do. The fight for healthy food that doesn’t destroy our bodies and our planet continues. I am inspired by your message and hope others will make the pledge to no longer support companies who fought to defeat Prop 37. Keep us updated on your boycott.

NOTE: We hope no one is offended by Just Some Random Guy’s note and his view on the presidential candidates. We were asked to post the note in its entirety and we meant no disrespect to Democrats, Republicans, Mormons, Obama lovers or Mitt Romney supporters by publishing this.


Image: Zach Klein via Flickr