Thank You!
Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

Monsanto Bets $5 Million in Washington Fight Agsainst Labeling GMO Food--Meanwhile Dr. Bronner's, Organic Consumers, and Mercola.com Largest Donors to Support Labeling

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

Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co., among the biggest makers of bioengineered crop seeds, are persuading Washington state voters to change their minds about a proposal to require labels on genetically modified food.

The companies are backing an anti-labeling campaign with $18.1 million -- twice that of advocates for a ballot measure next month. The labeling proposal had a 45 percentage-point lead among registered voters five weeks ago that has narrowed to 4 points since opponents began advertising, the independent Elway Poll showed Oct. 21.

"This is a David and Goliath fight," said Trudy Bialic, a spokeswoman for PCC Natural Markets based in Seattle. Store shelves are lined with tags -- "Non-GMO Project verified product" -- on products from canola oil to granola bars, to reassure those who fear or distrust genetically modified organisms. "There's no way we can compete with the resources of Monsanto, Dow and DuPont."

Washington joined 26 states with proposals this year to mandate such labeling or to prohibit genetically engineered food, according to the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group. If voters approve Initiative 522, Washington would be the first to require labels. While Connecticut and Maine have passed labeling laws, they won't take effect until more states do likewise.

PCC, whose nine stores make it the largest consumer-owned natural food retail co-operative in the U.S., donated $423,174 to support the proposal. "Vote Yes on 522!" is at the top of its website and signs urging support are posted in store windows. Seed King

Monsanto, the world's biggest seed producer, contributed $5.1 million to oppose the measure as of Oct. 2, according to MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization based in Berkeley, California. That compares with $1.53 billion that the St. Louis-based company spent on research and development in the year that ended in August, when sales reached $14.9 billion.

DuPont's Pioneer, the seed unit of the Wilmington, Delaware-based company, is the second-biggest corporate contributor, at $3.6 million, according to MapLight. Dow Chemical Co. based in Midland, Michigan, gave $621,000.

Monsanto and DuPont, the second-biggest seed company, sell corn and soybeans that have been genetically engineered to withstand weedkillers such as Roundup. They also make corn modified to produce an insecticidal protein that allows farmers to fight pests without applying more chemicals.

The two companies were the top donors in a $46 million drive last year to defeat an effort to require labeling in California. Supporters were outspent 5-to-1.    


>>> Read the Full Article

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords: