California’s Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods and was vehemently fought by the food manufacturers and big agro, lost by a slim margin of 48.5 percent to 51.5 percent at the ballot box. The non-profit organization Center for Food Safety Action Fund commissioned a study and I was especially surprised by this result: most college-educated people voted against the initiative — 45 percent to 55 percent — even though they overwhelmingly support the labeling of GM foods (68 percent to 27 percent). Huh?
Based on the new poll, the strongest support for Prop. 37 came from Latinos (61% yes), Asians (61% yes), African Americans (56% yes) and Democratic women (60% yes). As a group, Caucasian voters turned down the measure 58% to 42%. Voters under 30 approved of the initiative (55% yes), as opposed to voters 65 years or older (61% no). Reflecting election results from the Secretary of State’s office, the initiative won in Los Angeles County (52% to 48%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (56% to 44%).
College-educated voters provided the surprise of the Prop. 37 vote and the poll. While those with a college degree denied the initiative 45% to 55%, in the new survey this same group responded that it supports the concept of GE food labeling by the overwhelming margin of 68% to 27%.
“If there was ever any doubt, this poll confirms how powerful money is in the initiative process,” said Andrew Kimbrell, founder and executive director of Center for Food Safety. “The advertising time and media exposure that a large chunk of corporate cash buys is so potent it can induce socially aware people to vote against their own interests, and the health and safety of their families.”
Whoa. I know we had a lot of Prop. 37 voters here. Thought I’d share…