California voters rejected Proposition 37 last night by a margin of 47% to 53% with 98.5% precincts reporting.
Supporters of the ballot measure (like natural food companies Nature's Path, Clif Bar and Amy's Kitchen) were outspent by their opponents (Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, PepsiCo, CocaCola, and Kraft, among many others) nearly 5 to 1.
The proposition's main problem though, may have been the fact that the law relied on civilian lawsuits as its main enforcement mechanism.
Critics of the measure (and some reluctant supporters, like Whole Foods Markets) expressed concern that, if passed, Proposition 37 could potentially unleash a flood of frivolous lawsuits aimed at farmers or retailers.
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The defeat surely disappointed proponents of the natural food movement across the country, many of whom pinned their hopes on the California campaign to pave the way for a national GMO labeling movement.
Still, supporters appear resolute. At 12:52am this morning, the Yes on 37 campaign tweeted:
— CARightToKnow (@CARightToKnow) November 7, 2012