by Corey Hill
When we first reported about "Big Organic" companies helping fund the opposition to Proposition 37, the ballot measure enjoyed a two-to-one margin of support. But since then, money from Dow and Monsanto and Big Organic and “natural food” companies like Kashi (owned by Kellogg), Cascadian Farms (owned by General Mills), and Naked Juice (owned by Pepsi) has fueled a massive advertising campaign. And the ad campaign has yielded dividends for the No on 37 team. A poll conducted by Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and the California Business Roundtable shows support for the measure has slipped to 48.3 percent in favor to 40.2 percent against.
Stonyfield Chairman Gary Hirshberg recently made donations, moving off the MIA list and onto Cornucopia’s list of ‘Organic Heroes.’ Donations such as these have raised the Yes on 37’s totals to just over $4 million. But that's still small potatoes compared to the more than $34 million raised by the No on 37 side.
With election day just three weeks away, a number of high-profile organic foocd companies and retailers still haven’t taken a stance: Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Hain Celestial, Newman's Own, and Driscolls.
“Some of these companies are the largest and most profitable in the organic industry," stated Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s senior farm policy analyst. "We continue to believe that they should reevaluate their hesitancy to financially back an issue that is near and dear to the vast majority of their most dedicated customers.”