It hasn’t gotten quite as much attention as last November’s labeling vote in California, but the Washington (state) campaign to label genetically modified foods is becoming every bit as interesting and important in light of recent developments.
The upcoming vote on Proposition I-522, a GMO labeling initiative, has become closer in recent weeks since Big Food companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola and others began pouring money into the “No” campaign to counteract grassroots activists in favor of labeling.
But the “No” crowd, specifically the Washington-D.C. based Grocery Manufacturers’ Association, was recently caught red-handed and forced to disclose its concealed sources of funding after a lawsuit by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“This is the largest amount of money ever concealed in an election,” Ferguson said according to an Oct. 22 article by the Center for Food Safety.
You can see the amount of money that was concealed in support of the “No” crowd in this PDF document from the website Eat Drink Politics by clicking here. The list reads like a Who’s Who of processed GMO-laden food-like product producers, from Pepsi to Land O’Lakes to Kellogg’s and even the makers of Spam, Hormel Foods.
The GMA reluctantly decided to release the names after being faced with the lawsuit.
The suit by the attorney general is a pretty big deal according to the Center for Food Safety, as they usually have to be quite judicious with the cases they do go after due to their relatively limited resources. The AG suit came on the heals of a class action suit that was not allowed to proceed due to a technicality.
You can read more at the Center’s website here.
Now, another class action suit by Attorney Knoll Lowney and the Moms for Labeling group is alleging that the GMA intentionally mislead voters by falsely reporting the sources of their donations. They’re asking the judge to “sequester” the $7 million that was illegally concealed so that they can pay future penalties for their actions.
Washington Labeling Campaign Needs Support
With just a couple weeks to go before the Nov. 5 election, the Washington GMO labeling campaign is in desperate need of support.
Volunteers to work the phones and especially more funding is badly needed. You can find out more at www.yeson522.com.
The ultra-deceptive tactics of the companies that don’t want you to know what’s in your food have been working down the wire just as they did in California. The “Yes” side had an eroding four-point lead at last check, 46-42.
The power of social media could help us turn the tide, however. If you get the chance, go ahead and “Like” Facebook pages like the Seattle Post Intelligencer and others related to the state or the companies that are trying to keep us in the dark, and post about your support for the Right to Know in the days leading up to the Nov. 5 election day.
The Washington vote could have major effects on GMO labeling and the movement for GMO Freedom throughout the country, and your support can make the difference, even if you live in another state.