Heavy Spending by Opponents of GMO Labeling Referendum in Washington State

Less than two weeks from now, voting by mail will begin in Washington State on the initiative (I-522) to require labeling of products which contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Readers will remember that California’s similar Proposition 37 was defeated in a campaign by the opposition, which was funded to the tune of $44 million  (as compared to $7.3 million in favor of the California proposition) as reported in the Huffington Post, which delineated the opponents’ names based on reporting by Will Evans of California Watch.  Despite this overwhelmingly lopsided spending, 47% voted in favor of GMO labeling in California.

The Organic Consumers Association reports that spending by the opponents of Washington State’s Initiative I-522 have invested $17.1 million to oppose the attempt in Washington to require retailers and food companies to label products made with GMOs.  The Association is coordinating forces in favor of a yes vote on the Washington initiative and have sought contributions to counter the No campaign funded by “Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Bayer, BASF, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).”  According to the Organic Consumers Association, the “GMA has kicked in $7.2 million on behalf of food companies like Pepsi, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kraft and others.”  The Association suggests that by funneling monies through the Grocery Manufacturers Association, these food companies seek “to avoid the kind of bad publucity that came raining down on  them last year, when they publicly donated to defeat California’s Proposition 37.”

Before the latest attempt to require the labeling of GMOs is over, on November 5th, the Organic Consumers Association is seeking donations to continue its campaign to support I-522, the Washington State initiative.  Click Here for a link to the Association’s fundraising campaign to support the labeling of GMOs.

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