By Lisa Drake
Like many companies, we often advocate for policies we think are sound, and oppose those we think are not. And that advocacy sometimes includes support for campaigns about ballot initiatives.
For instance, we recently were part of a coalition that opposed state ballot initiatives in California and Washington State that would have imposed complex and confusing requirements for the mandatory labeling of GMO foods. We contributed a total of about $13.5 million to support coalitions that opposed these measures, while the total spent by those who shared our concerns was about $66 million. Like us, they’re confident that foods that include GM ingredients are safe. We have long supported voluntary labeling as long as such labeling is accurate and not misleading.
A Jackson County, Oregon ballot initiative titled “15-119” is another case where we’ve supported efforts to defeat what we think is a bad policy proposal. If enacted, this measure would prohibit local farmers from choosing to grow federally approved GMO seeds and create a financial burden for the county which would then have to spend monies to enforce it. We’ve contributed $183,294.10 to a coalition that opposes this proposal. Why?
- First, a ban on growing approved GMO seeds would be unfair to farmers – who should continue to be able to choose what kind of crops to grow on their own land. Furthermore, it is important to note that farmers have co-existed with neighboring farmers for hundreds of years.
- Second, foods with GMO ingredients are safe to eat and provide environmental benefits such as promoting reduced tillage practices. GMO bans just don’t make sense.
At Monsanto, we’re proud of what we do to improve agriculture around the world. We work every day to help farmers produce food that is safe, healthy and affordable for you and your family. We also are committed to being part of a conversation about that food. That’s why we wanted to share our thoughts and perspective on this important topic.