The producers of genetically engineered food are spending millions of dollars in its defense. In fact, the financial reports on Proposition 37 show things shaping up similarly to how they did for Proposition 29, the failed initiative to raise the cigarette tax and use the money for medical research. Groups with a strong concern about a particular health issue -- the Lance Armstrong Foundation, for example, in the case of cigarette taxes, and Mercola Health Resources in the case of Proposition 27 -- place a nice sum into the kitty to pass the initiative, but their efforts are far outweighed by industry donations. In Proposition 37's case, the industry charge is being led by Monsanto.
The pro-Proposition 37 forces have raised about $2 million, less than a 10th of the $25 million contributed to the opposition, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan research group MapLight. You can expect those numbers to rise, largely on the "no" side, in coming weeks.
The initiative on the November ballot would require genetically engineered foods (also called GMO, for genetically modified, though "engineered" is the more accurate term; scientists are modifying the genes of food every time they create a hybrid through good old-fashioned breeding) to be labeled as such in the supermarket.