According to the RT a lobbying group for major US manufacturers has violated Washington state campaign finance law while opposing a ballot initiative that would require labelling genetically modified foods, according to a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general Wednesday.
The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) ran afoul of state law in collecting and spending $7.2 million against ballot initiative 522 – which voters will consider in November – while not disclosing the individual donors funneling contributions to the organization, alleged State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views,” Ferguson said in a statement.
The measure would require the proper labelling of goods which contain ingredients with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the labelling of seeds and seed products containing GMOs sold in the state.
With over $7 million spent, GMA is the largest donor to the “No on I-522” campaign. GMA and other opponents have raised over $17 million, spending $13 million thus far, in the effort to block labeling.
The “Yes on I-522” campaign has raised around $5.5 million in support of the labeling. They believe it is crucial for the public’s right to know what is in their food and say the labeling is a positive move considering the numerous questions surrounding the safety of GMOs to human health.
Ferguson’s office alleges GMA set up a “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” and asked its numerous high-powered members to contribute money in an effort to oppose the ballot initiative.
In the process of spending the money, GMA shielded contributors’ identification from public disclosures, the lawsuit alleges.
GMA has a total of 300 member organizations in its ranks and rising!
The attorney general is seeking a temporary restraining order to force GMA to comply with disclosure laws. In addition, civil penalties are included in the suit.
Read More at:http://rt.com/usa/washington-lawsuit-gmo-label-288/
- Monsanto Pours Millions into GMO-Labeling Fight (stateofglobe.com)
- Washington state sues lobbying group opposed to GMO food labeling effort (rinf.com)
- Washington state sues lobbying group opposed to GMO food labeling effort (rt.com)
- State attorney general sues food industry group over I-522 (komonews.com)
- Attorney General sues grocery association, alleging campaign-finance violations (blogs.seattletimes.com)