Hiding Contributing Donors Against Genetically Modified Food Labeling
March 16, 2016
A landmark case about the dirty-money and politics that go into keeping Big Food and Big Biotech afloat was just decided.
Judge Anne Hirsch awarded a summary judgment in a suit brought against the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, finding the GMA guilty of a money laundering scheme that shielded members’ identities as they helped to defeat Washington’s 2013 GMO labeling ballot initiative, I-522, with their donations.
The GMA includes big names in the food industry like Monsanto, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg’s, and General Mills. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson charged:
“The GMA worked to ‘shield’ the actions of major food companies from the very public entitled to know who was trying to influence their vote on Initiative 522… GMA’s conduct was so egregious that it ranks among the worst in state history.”
The GMA also happens to be the very same trade group that wrote Senator Pat Roberts’ DARK ACT, S.2606, to take away our right to know if we are eating GMO. The GMA is a now, beyond a doubt, a criminal organization.
The penalty these criminals will have to pay is still to be determined, with a court’s decision pending, but the court has made it clear –campaign finance disclosure laws were completely ignored.
The case, State v. Grocery Manufacturers Association, highlights that the GMA, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association, was the largest single donor to the “No on 522” political committee. The organization raised $14 million from its members which were shielded by money laundering. That means that major food brands, and Monsanto, et al. were hoping to hide the fact they were sticking it to consumers.
Companies like PepsiCo, contributed nearly $3 million to the account, and Nestle and Coca-Cola upwards of $2 million each. Think of the hundreds of products these companies make, that we support with our hard-earned money every day – all while they were acting criminally in a democratic process.