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Wash. State Lawsuit Reveals Which Corporations Laundered Money To Fight GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) was forced to reveal which corporate members it laundered anti-GMO labeling donation cash for Friday, following Wednesday’s lawsuit filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

LaunderFinal2After receiving major public backlash for donating millions to defeat California’s labeling proposition last year, GMA members began funneling donation money through a “Defense of Brands Strategic Account,” set up to conceal which specific members opposed Washington’s labeling Initiate 522, illegal under state campaign disclosure laws.

“The people of Washington demand transparency in elections.  I’m pleased that the GMA board recognized this responsibility to disclose the names of corporate contributors to oppose Initiative 522, and the amount of this contribution,” Ferguson said.

Of the 34 members who hid over $7.2 million in donation cash, the same familiar corporations topped the list. PepsiCo, spending $1,620,899, Nestle USA, Inc., with $1,057,743, and The Coca-Cola Co., with $1,047,332. Unsurprisingly, all three were major contributors against California’s Prop. 37.

The full list with links to varying contact information including Facebook pages includes:

PepsiCo, Inc. – $1,620,899
Nestle USA Inc. – $1,052,743
The Coca-Cola Company – $1,047,332
General Mills Inc. – $598,819
ConAgra Foods – $285,281
Campbell Soup Company – $265,140
The Hershey Company – $248,305
The J.M. Smucker Company – $241,091
Kellogg Company – $221,852
Mondelez Global LLC – $144,895
Flowers Foods Inc. – $141,288
Abbott Nutrition – $127,459
Pinnacle Foods Group LLC – $120,846
Dean Foods Company – $120,245
McCormick & Company Inc – $102,208
Land O’Lakes, Inc. – $99,803
Cargill Inc. – $98,601
The Hillshire Brands Company – $97,398
Bunge North America, Inc. – $94,993
Bimbo Bakeries USA – $94,693
Del Monte Foods Company – $86,576
Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. – $55,313
Hormel Foods Corporation – $52,908
Bumble Bee Foods LLC – $36,073
Welch Foods, Inc.    $28,859
Shearer’s Foods, Inc.    $25,251
Rich Products Corporation – $24,049
Clement Pappas & Company Inc. – $21,043
Sunny Delight Beverages Company – $21,043
Bush Brothers & Company – $16,233
Knouse Foods Cooperative Inc. – $14,429
The Clorox Company – $12,024
Bruce Foods Corporation – $3,006
Moody Dunbar Inc. – $1,804

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely:

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  1. Thank you for the prompt update. I will be sharing this list with many people here in Wa.

  2. This is crazy. Even if they can't get gmo off the shelf we have a right to know what we are eating. Nutritional info on the side should include gmo!

    • I disagree. It should be banned altogether like in 56 other countries so far where gov protects the people instead of protecting corps (facism).

  3. Just label it! we have a right to know what we are eating. It’s common sense.

  4. There was a fight way back when they wanted companies to put nutritional info on packaging too…. they are all con men. The biggest scam now is hiding things off label…

  5. I'm an active WA voter and cerainly shall be voting for 522 (the GMO labeling initiative.)
    Thank you for the info…it will help a great deal in my conversations with friends and family with respect to this issue.
    I'm of the opinion that labeling is a simle resolution…that way the market and any changes in buying habits will demonstrate whether folks are concerned. At least I'd be able to make my own informed choices.
    Again, thank you for the information.

  6. Great work guys!!!

  7. Now, WA AG, if we could just get the same transparency for our elections and the process that goes with it! And if you would keep your fingers off possible lawsuits that would be between PRIVATE parties and NOT the State of WA!!!

  8. it seems like it should not even be an issue. if gm ingredients, label it. as monsanto just got an award for genetically engineered food by our government, they could boast that it is in their product and government approved!

    • I realize some companies want to fight for things. This round was GMO labeling.

      But money laundering is criminal and people need to face trial over it.
      I hope this doesn't lead to a huge fine like JPMorgan that the investors and customers pay instead of the guilty crooks who actually did the alleged illegal conduct.

  9. Yes, we need to label but THIS IS A BAD INITIATIVE!!!!! DO NOT FALL FOR THE TITLE ONLY!! READ THE INITIATIVE! Don't be fooled!

    On page 8 of this initiative is Codex Alimentarius – an NGO out of the UK that wants to restrict access to vitamins and minerals. This will put our food supply under the authority of the UN!!! Many foods will be exempt that need to be labeled!

    SCRAP 522 and get a clean GMO labeling bill!!

  10. In the face of yet more scientific evidence of the adverse health effects of genetically modified foods, country after country is working to ban, limit or restrict the cultivation and testing of GM crops. But as the biotech giants gear up the PR war against their opponents, the question of what people can do to avoid GMO foods is becoming more important than ever. Oct 29, 2012

    Research Paper A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health

  11. I really think this shouldn't even be a big issue. Just label it. We have a right to know what we are eating. Nutritional info on the side should include GMO.

  12. Its funny you drive up and down highway 99 in Seattle and you see pro-GMO campaign signs thrown in the road everywhere. They may be putting alot of these pro-gmo signs up, but the people are clearly putting them back in the road to get run over by thousands daily.

    Washington will pass this with flying colors cause we are and can expect us!

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