Organic Consumers Association

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Corporate Secrets: How Big Food's Anti-522 GMO Labeling Money Laundering Campaign Was Planned

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

The Grocery Manufacturers Association began last December to plot how to defeat Initiative 522, the food labeling measure on Washington's November ballot, with emphasis a "shielding individual companies from attack for providing funding," according to a fascinating complaint filed Wednesday by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The AG is claiming that the Washington, D.C.-based lobby violated state disclosure laws by concealing the true source of at least $7.2 million (so far) that the Grocery Manufacturers Association has put into the No-on-522 campaign.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has issued a vague statement about the attorney general's action:

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has been advised that the Attorney General has filed a complaint against the association related to state campaign disclosure law and the organization's financial support of the 'No on 522' campaign.

We are looking into the complaint and the specific allegations it contains. GMA takes great care to understand and comply with all state election and campaign finance laws and is surprised to learn that the Washington State authorities viewed the association's actions as improper.

GMA will review its actions in Washington State and relevant statutes and continue to cooperate with state authorities to fully resolve the issue as promptly as possible.

The state's legal brief provides a look into how a big corporate lobby planned a $17.1 million campaign that has blanketed TV screens with ordinary Washington citizens denouncing I-522. The measure would require most raw agricultural foods, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering, to be labeled when offered for sale.  
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