By Dr. Mercola
I want to personally thank everyone in Washington State who cast their vote for the people’s initiative 522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” or otherwise helped in the campaign.
As of this writing, all of the votes have not yet been counted,1 but as reported by Rachael Maddow the following day, initial tallies have the opposition in the lead with 55 percent of the votes.
As Maddow says, this is a perfect example of how corporate money can alter the outcome on a vote—even when a majority of people don’t agree with the corporate stance. Initial polls showed that the majority, over 60 percent, of Washington State voters wanted GMO labeling.
But as in California last year, once the corporate giants overwhelmed the airwaves with their propaganda—falsely warning that the sky will fall and you won’t be able to afford the food, should they be forced to label it—they were able to confuse enough people to allow them to win.
This despite the fact that many of these companies already sell non-GMO versions of their products to overseas markets that either don’t permit genetically engineered ingredients, or that label all genetically engineered foods… America is more or less the only major market left wide open for GE foods, which is why they’re fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way.
Do You Need Dirty PR Tactics to Promote Clean, Safe Food?
The proponents of Initiative 522 raised about $8.4 million for the campaign to label GMO’s; $2.6 million of which was raised within the state. Meanwhile, the opposition poured more than $22 million into their campaign, but only $550 was donated within Washington State.
Clearly, the residents of Washington State showed, through their financial backing, which side they were overwhelmingly on.
With the exception of a $550 donation from within the state, the opposition’s coffers were filled by donations from out-of-state multinational corporations that, to top it all off, laundered their campaign donations through a “brand defense” account created by the Grocery Manufacturers Association of America (GMA) in order to avoid consumer backlash.
It couldn’t possibly be clearer that these companies really do not want you to know the position they took on this issue.
They didn’t get away with it though. The GMA was sued2 and accused of intentional money laundering, and it looks like the Association may very well be found guilty, which may result in large fines if State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has his way.
Within days, the identities of the companies paying to defeat I-522 were released. Not surprisingly, the list contained the usual suspects. Pepsi, Coke, and Nestle—authorities of junk food and primary purveyors of chronic disease—were the top funders trying to deceive you, while hiding the fact that they were doing so.