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Prop 37 Redux? BigAg Dumps Millions to Defeat GMO-Labeling in Wash.

Monsanto, DuPont among those working to defeat Washington's I-522

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Once again, a state is putting forth a ballot measure to label genetically modified foods, and once again, a familiar cast of characters is spending millions to defeat the measure.

The battle this time is in Washington, which has on its ballot this November I-522. As MapLight summarizes, the initiative

would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale.

In the past week, Monsanto gave a $4.5 million dollar donation to the 'No' on 522 campaign, while DuPont gave $3.2 million.  Other big donors hoping to defeat the measure are Bayer CropScience and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

With these latest contributions, the No campaign has raked in over over $11 million in donations, compared to just under $3.5 million raised by the 'Yes' campaign.

Despite this outspending, a new poll shows 66% of voters in favor of the measure to label GMOs.

“It is the return of the big money, but we’re not surprised,” Katherine Paul, spokeswoman for Organic Consumers Association (OCA), told Politico.

OCA is among those supporting the 'Yes' campaign, which also includes Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps and Mercola.com.

In California's closely-watched battle last year over Prop. 37, another GMO labeling effort, the same large agribusiness powers now pouring millions into Washington's measure, spent millions and ultimately defeated the proposition.

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