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List names companies opposing GMO labeling effort

In response to a lawsuit filed by Washington state’s attorney general, the Grocery Manufacturers Association has disclosed the names of food companies that have donated to the campaign to defeat the GMO labeling initiative.

OLYMPIA — The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which has contributed $7.2 million to defeat Initiative 522, has disclosed the names of food companies that have donated under its name.

I-522 is a Washington state ballot initiative that would require food manufacturers that sell their product at retail to label products that contain genetically modified material.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association is one of several contributors fighting the labeling effort. Other large contributors include Bayer Cropscience, Dow Agrosciences, DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. As of Oct. 21, contributions to “No on 522” total $17.1 million, and $13.5 million has been spent.

Contributions to groups that support the initiative total $8.1 million; expenditures are $7.3 million.

The Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit Oct. 16, claiming the Grocery Manufacturers Association violated campaign laws by shielding the identity of its contributors.

Elizabeth Larter, spokeswoman for the Yes on 522 campaign, said, “It’s clear that they broke the law. They don’t want to tell us who is funding the No on 522 campaign just like they don’t want Washington consumers to know what is in their food.”

The Grocery Manufacturers Association issued a statement saying, “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 ... and continue to cooperate with state authorities to fully resolve the issue as promptly as possible.”

The association established a political committee and on Oct. 21 released a list of contributors:

• Pinnacle Foods Group LLC $120,846;

• The J. M. Smucker Company $241,091; 

• Rich Products Corp. $24,049;

• General Mills Inc. $598,819;

• PepsiCo Inc. $1,620,899;

• Bunge North America Inc. $94,993;

• Bumble Bee Foods, LLC $36,073;

• Bush Brothers & Co. $16,233;

• Moody Dunbar Inc. $1,804;

• Dean Foods Co. $120,245;

• Kellogg Co. $221,852;

• Nestlé USA Inc. $1,052,743;

• ConAgra Foods $285,281;

• Bimbo Bakeries USA  $94,693;

• Welch Foods Inc. $28,859;

• Knouse Foods Cooperative Inc. $14,429;

• Bruce Foods Corp. $3,006;

• Abbott Nutrition $127,459;

• Campbell Soup Co. $265,140;

• Del Monte Foods Co. $86,576;

• Sunny Delight Beverages Co. $ 21,043;

• Shearer’s Foods Inc. $25,251;

• Mondelez Global LLC $144,895;

• Land O’Lakes Inc. $99,803;

• The Coca-Cola Co. $1,047,332;

• The Hillshire Brands Co. $97,398;

• The Hershey Co. $248,305;

• Hormel Foods Corp. $52,908;

• Clement Pappas & Co. Inc. $21,043;

• McCormick & Co. Inc. $102,208;

• Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. $55,313;

• FlowersFoods Inc. $141,288;

• Cargill Inc. $98,601; and

• The Clorox Co. $12,024.

Election Day is Nov. 5, and the Secretary of State has mailed ballots to the state’s nearly 4 million registered voters.



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