The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Organic Consumers Association,

Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090

Zack Kaldveer, 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


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
Nestle 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

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit public interest organization, and the only organization in the U.S. focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million consumers of organically and socially responsibly produced food and other products. OCA educates and advocates on behalf of organic consumers, engages consumers in marketplace pressure campaigns, and works to advance sound food and farming policy through grassroots lobbying. We address crucial issues around food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, including pesticide use, and other food- and agriculture-related topics.