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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2013
2:21 PM

CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association

Organic Consumers Association, http://www.organicconsumers.org/

Katherine Paul, Katherine@organicconsumers.org 207.653.3090

Zack Kaldveer, Zack@organicconsumers.org 510-938-2664

Organic Consumers Association: Statement on GMA Lawsuit and Food Corporations’ Donations to NO on I-522

Grassroots and Consumer Pressure Expose Food Manufacturers’ Efforts to Defeat GMO Labeling Laws

FINLAND, Minn. - October 21 - Last week’s lawsuit, filed by the Washington State Attorney General against the Grocery Manufacturers Association for violating the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws, forced the GMA to disclose the names of the food companies that have donated to the campaign to defeat I-522. I-522 is a Washington state ballot initiative that, if passed on November 5, will require food manufacturers who sell their products at retail to label those products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“This is a win for the grassroots and for consumers,” said Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the OCA. “Consumers boycotted food companies, and the organic and natural brands they own, after the companies contributed more than $23 million last year to defeat a GMO labeling law in California. Desperate to avoid another round of consumer backlash, food manufacturers were forced to hide behind the GMA in Washington State this year. Now, the GMA has damaged the NO on I-522 campaign’s credibility by breaking the law, and also has exposed the true intent of food manufacturers who are desperate to protect their profits by refusing to provide truth and transparency in food labeling.”

The grassroots group, Moms for Labeling, fired the first volley against the GMA with a lawsuit alleging that the GMA was laundering donations to the campaign, on behalf of food companies, through special assessments. When a judge dismissed the group’s lawsuit, on a technicality, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson picked up where Moms for Labeling left off, filing a similar lawsuit on behalf of the state.

The GMA had previously reported donations of $7.2 million to the NO on I-522 campaign. In response to the lawsuit filed by the state, the GMA published this list of donations, showing that food companies are behind millions in donations to the NO campaign.

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

Totals $ 7,222,500

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The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.



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