By Steve Brown
Nearly $5 million in contributions have poured into the campaigns surrounding Washington Ballot Initiative 522. About 80 percent of that has gone into support for the proposed law requiring labels on products containing genetically modified crops.
An analysis from MapLight, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, compares the campaign funding of I-522 with California Proposition 37, a similar ballot measure that failed in 2012. Many groups that supported Prop 37 now also support I-522. Opponents in California now oppose the Washington measure as well.
Supporters of I-522 and their contributions so far:
* Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, $795,635
* Organic Consumer Fund, $588,462
* Mercola, $250,000
* Presence Marketing Inc., $200,000
* Nature's Path Foods, $160,700
* Grocery Manufacturers Association, $472,500
* Monsanto, $242,156
* Dupont, $171,281
* Bayer Corp., $29,531
* Dow Agrosciences, $29,531
The balance of funds generated for and against Prop 37 is reversed in I-522: In California, contributions in support totaled $9 million; in opposition, $46 million.
Also the rate at which contributions are coming in is much higher this year. Collections in support totaled $4 million as of Aug. 13, 2013; by the same date in 2012, supporters had contributed only $1.3 million. Collections to oppose I-522 have reached $1 million as of Aug. 13; in 2012, $375,000 had been contributed.
The numbers come from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission and the California Secretary of State.