Prop 37 Defeated

I've written a lot on this blog and elsewhere about Prop 37, which would have required mandatory labeling of GM foods in California. 

According to the California election web site, it appears that with 98.5% of precincts reporting, Prop 37 was defeated 53% to 47%. 

As I discussed earlier, there had  been a strong downward trend in support over the past month, but I must say that I am surprised that the proposition failed to pass.  

No doubt proponents of mandatory labeling will decry the money spent by Monsanto, Dow, etc.  And there is little doubt that this money, and the ads it created, turned the tides.  Is this good or bad?  Apparently people were susceptible to the message in the "No" ads and  people voluntarily changed their mind: as it is often said "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."  The counter-argument will be that the ads were deceptive.  But it's hard to argue this point because the arguments made on the yes and no sides were both based on conjectures, extrapolations, and assumptions.  I personally thought there were more misleading claims made by the "yes" side than the "no."

At the end of the day, real, thinking people placed real votes that defeated the proposition.  We can't on the one hand say that these people were unreasonably influenced to  vote against Prop 37 while saying they were reasonably influenced to vote for Obama.  If one wants to fault the money of corporations, they also have to fault the people who change their minds as a result.  I'm not willing to go that far.

In any event, the good news for those who wanted Prop 37 is that there are lots of organic and GM-free products already for sell on the market, which are voluntarily labeled.   Prop 37 supporters didn't get what they wanted in the voting booth, but they can get it at the grocery store.