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Organic Consumers Association: Statement on GMA Lawsuit and Food Corporations' Donations to NO on I-522

  • Grassroots and Consumer Pressure Expose Food Manufacturers' Efforts to Defeat GMO Labeling Laws
    Organic Consumers Association, October 21, 2013

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2013

CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090; or Zack Kaldveer, 510-938-2664

FINLAND, Minn. - Last week's lawsuit, filed by the Washington State Attorney General against the Grocery Manufacturers Association for violating the state's campaign finance disclosure laws, forced the GMA to disclose the names of the food companies that have donated to the campaign to defeat I-522. I-522 is a Washington state ballot initiative that, if passed on November 5, will require food manufacturers who sell their products at retail to label those products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

"This is a win for the grassroots and for consumers," said Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the OCA. "Consumers boycotted food companies, and the organic and natural brands they own, after the companies contributed more than $23 million last year to defeat a GMO labeling law in California. Desperate to avoid another round of consumer backlash, food manufacturers were forced to hide behind the GMA in Washington State this year. Now, the GMA has damaged the NO on I-522 campaign's credibility by breaking the law, and also has exposed the true intent of food manufacturers who are desperate to protect their profits by refusing to provide truth and transparency in food labeling."

The grassroots group, Moms for Labeling, fired the first volley against the GMA with a lawsuit alleging that the GMA was laundering donations to the campaign, on behalf of food companies, through special assessments. When a judge dismissed the group's lawsuit, on a technicality, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson picked up where Moms for Labeling left off, filing a similar lawsuit on behalf of the state.

The GMA had previously reported donations of $7.2 million to the NO on I-522 campaign. In response to the lawsuit filed by the state, the GMA published this list of donations, showing that food companies are behind millions in donations to the NO campaign.

Pinnacle Foods Group LLC $120,846
The J. M. Smucker Company $241,091
Rich Products Corporation $24,049
General Mills, Inc. $598,819
PepsiCo, Inc. $1,620,899
Bunge North America, Inc. $94,993
Bumble Bee Foods, LLC $36,073
Bush Brothers & Company A $16,233
Moody Dunbar, Inc. $1,804
Dean Foods Company $120,245
Kellogg Company$ 221,852
Nestlé USA, Inc. $1,052,743
ConAgra Foods $285,281
Bimbo Bakeries USA  $94,693
Welch Foods, Inc. $28,859
Knouse Foods Cooperative, Inc. $14,429
Bruce Foods Corporation $3,006
Abbott Nutrition $127,459
Campbell Soup Company $265,140
Del Monte Foods Company $86,576
Sunny Delight Beverages Company$ 21,043
Shearer's Foods, Inc. -$ 25,251
Mondelez Global LLC $144,895
Land O'Lakes, Inc. $99,803
The Coca-Cola Company $1,047,332
The Hillshire Brands Company $97,398
The Hershey Company $248,305
Hormel Foods Corporation $52,908
Clement Pappas & Company, Inc. $21,043
McCormick & Company, Inc. $102,208
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. $55,313
Flowers Foods, Inc. $141,288
Cargill, Inc. $98,601
The Clorox Company $12,024

Totals $ 7,222,500

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization advocating on behalf of more than one million consumers for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.


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