California Prop. 37, which would have required labels identifying food products containing genetically modified ingredients, was defeated Nov. 7 with 53 percent of voters opposed and 47 percent in favor. Big food and ag, led by Monsanto, spent $45 million on an anti-labeling campaign, far outspending consumer advocates and organic food producers’ $9 million.
The week before the election, Hawaii GMO-labeling advocates were joined by Walter Ritte and Ben Cayetano at the Ala Moana Farmers’ Market Taro Fest. Although both men lost their bids for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and Honolulu mayor, respectively, their campaigns for transparency in food labeling and government are ongoing.