Big Corps Pile In With Money Before Key GMO Labeling Vote

In the run-up to November 4th elections, big food and big chemical companies are piling on the money to persuade voters in the state of Washington to reject GMO labels on foods.

They were successful last year in California and they could win in Washington, turning voters their way through millions of dollars spent on misinformation. 

When we reported on this in August, polls showed strong support for GMO labels, with 66% saying they favor I-522. There was widespread support among people of all parties, from every age group and from all corners of the state.
Now, that support seems to be diminishing after an onslaught of corporate-financed ads.

The most recent polls show the gap narrowing with initiative still ahead, but only slightly at 46-42. Initiatives are considered in trouble if pre-election polls show support at under 50%, says the Yes on 522 campaign.

GMO Labels Washington Referendum

In August, labeling opponents had raised just $1 million. Since then that’s grown to $22 million, triple the amount of pro-GMO labeling groups.  

"They are making this the most expensive race and are desperately adding last-minute money to try and buy this election," Liz Larter, spokeswoman for the "Yes on 522" campaign, told Reuters.

Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit this month against the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents 300 big food companies, the biggest opponent of the referendum. He alleges they violated campaign finance laws by illegally collecting and spending $11 million – they did not  register as a political committee and concealed contributors.

Key contributors to defeat the referendum are Monsanto ($5.5 million), PepsiCo ($2.4  million), Coca Cola ($1.5 million), Nestle USA ($1.5 million), DuPont, General Mills ($598,819), J.M. Smucker ($349,977) and many other corporate giants. 

On the pro-labeling side, Dr. Bronner’s contributed the most – $1.7 million. 

Read our article, Why ‘Big Food’ is Afraid of GMO Labeling, Paying Plenty to Stop It.

You can contribute to Yes on 522 here; they are also looking for volunteers to make phone calls: 

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