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Who’s Paying for GMO-labeling Initiative Campaigns?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Washington News page.

Groups opposed to labeling genetically modified food outspent those in favor 5 to 1 last year when Californians voted on a labeling ballot measure. But the tables are turned in the run-up to an initiative vote in Washington state. So far, pro-labeling groups have spent more than $4 for every $1 spent by those opposed, according to an analysis by MapLight.

Contributions in support of Washington Ballot Initiative 522 ("The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act") add up to nearly $4 million $3.5 million, while the opposition has raised about $950,000. The big money comes from the same interests that ponied during the California campaign, as you can see in this chart (click to embiggen).  



That chart only shows the biggest contributors. Pro-labeling contributions come from a broader base; the money supporting the initiative comes from 5,698 supporters, compared to just 12 contributors in opposition.

The relative weight of contributions, however, is likely to shift rapidly as the Washington initiative approaches its Nov. 5 moment of truth at the ballot box. Last year, the campaign against the California proposition spent $42 million in the six weeks before the vote. That proposition failed, with 6.4 million "no" votes, and 6.1 million votes in favor.   


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