Monsanto Spends Millions to Defeat Washington GMO Labeling Initiative17/09/2013 19:37
With the help of a $4.6 million check from the biotech giant Monsanto and millions more from other out-of-state corporate interests, the campaign to defeat a Washington state ballot initiative in November to label groceries that contain genetically engineered ingredients has outraised the initiative's supporters by nearly three times, according to campaign data released last week.
The campaign for Washington ballot Initiative 552 is already looking a lot like last year's Proposition 37 campaign in California, where biotech and agribusiness interests outspent organic food producers and grassroots labeling supporters by nearly 5 to 1 in a high-profile battle over labeling genetically engineered groceries in the Golden State. (Genetically engineered products are also known as Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs.)
The No on 552 campaign has raised $11.1 million so far and has spent only a fraction of its war chest. Monsanto tops the group's list of donors, while pesticide giants Dupont and Bayer CropScience have donated $3.2 million and $562,000, respectively.
All three companies spent millions opposing Proposition 37 in California in November, 2012, along with individual members of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, which represents processed foods companies like Pepsico and Kraft. The trade group has donated $2.2 million so far to defeat the Washington GMO labeling initiative.