Washington’s I-522 Initiative: Foes of GMO Labeling Are Running Scared


label-gmosLet’s keep up the momentum! Here’s what’s next for GMO labeling.

Although votes are still trickling in (Washington State voters mail in their ballots), it looks as though GMO labeling Initiative 522 may not pass (Yes on I-522 is currently trailing by a little over four percentage points). One thing is certain, however: thanks to your hard work and incredible support, opponents of GMO labeling have taken a heavy hit to their pocketbooks, reputations, and influence:

  • No on I-522 raised nearly $22 million to defeat the initiative. In fact, they outspent Yes on I-522 by two to one. At this rate, they’d have to spend $440 million to stop GMO labeling in all twenty states currently considering it.
  • The Grocery Manufacturers Association alone gave $11 million—and now has to answer to the Washington State Attorney General for illegally collecting and spending $7 million of it.
  • Nationally, No on I-522 is getting bad press for their underhanded tactics, including this humorous piece from Stephen Colbert.
  • Consumer backlash against food companies that funded anti-labeling efforts is strong and growing.

Thanks to your relentless grassroots advocacy, the foes of GMO labeling are running scared, plain and simple: they know GMO labeling has reached an unstoppable tipping point. After all, they literally had to break the law to defeat WA I-522. GMO labeling laws have already passed in Connecticut and Maine. And in 2014, twenty more states will consider the issue.

We’ll keep you updated on state-level bills and voter initiatives as they come up, and will continue our boots-on-the-ground advocacy efforts in DC.

In the meantime, do your part to keep up the momentum behind GMO labeling:

  • Know who’s spending millions to defeat GMO labeling (see our infographic below).
  • Combat Big Food and Big Biotech’s campaign of misinformation by reading our reports on GMO labeling and food prices, as well as the economic, environmental, and human health impacts of GMOs.
  • Share what you’ve learned—including our Demon Weeds video—with family and friends!

Advocates of GMO labeling, keep your heads up. We have facts, time, and the Right to Know on our side.

  • Trudi Thomas

    Thank-you for being there and doing all this wonderful work and keeping us informed!

    Regards, Trudi Thomas

  • Thomas Rogers

    What are they afraid of? I want to know what I’ and my family are eating. What we eat ought to be regulated by the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration and I don’t understand why the ingredients are not listed on food consumed including chemicals and other substances used in their preparation. What are Monsanto and the other giant food corporations afraid of about labeling? If its worthwhile, they should have no problem presenting it to the American public.

  • bjyates

    Thank you for all the info…keep up the good work!

  • Mary Leffler
  • Terry Hill

    We have accomplished very much in terms of educating people. Monsanto and Dupont and GE, etc!

  • Darlene

    Could it be possible to draw up a list of all the people that supported No on 522. Then provide a link to click on that we could use to email “all” of the supporters at once of the No on the ballot. I have a list, but it is going to take quite a bit of time to email each company separately. I want them to know that I am boycotting them, even if they sell in the health food stores, makes no difference to me, as I can substitute another brand that was for 522.

  • Alfred D Reynolds

    Many thanks for the status update.

    What would be great i you could povide a list of every company who went againt the proposition I – 552. If an E-mail address can be shown for each company that would be a bonus.

    Everyone needs to know who these people are and can then take action on an individual basis.

    Please keep up the good work on behalf of so many people.

  • shayne

    GMO labeling is similar to the Federal Law of “Truth in Labeling” giving us interested consumers information about what is in their food so we can make informed food choices.
    GMO labeling, too, should be a federal law.

    • Bruce Stewart

      Exactly, hydrogenated oil? Gotta tell us! GMO’s? It’s a secret.

  • The article states:

    “At this rate, they’d have to spend $440 million to stop GMO labeling in all twenty states currently considering it.”

    The reality is that $440 million is chump change for this group, compared to the sales lost if consumers knew what was in their products. They will spend whatever is necessary to defeat labeling wherever it appears that it could become law and set precedence. Grassroot instigated referendums can never match the funding depth of big food/big ag’s pockets. Another approach must be tried.

    Howard Dean and Ron Paul pioneered political fundraising on the internet. This cause needs a high profile champion/celebrity to organize fundraising on the national level. A big national war chest could be created to assist local referendums as they arise, instead of funding coming solely from the pockets of the locals, which could never hope to match the propaganda spending of huge multinational corporations. Its a pity Its all about the money but that’s the way it is here at the bottom of this deep well of materialism

    • Bruce Stewart

      You are right on with your comments. Maybe somebody like Suzanne Somers could be talked into being a spokesperson for “Truth in Labeling” for GMO’s. I’m sure there are several celebrities that would be willing to help.

  • fred

    Great comments here, and thanks! I live in Spokane, Washington and am disappointed that I-522 will probably lose, but hey, we can fight and win a long battle. Where to next on this, Oregon? Onward!

  • Being hauled down with the companies fighting the labeling, I think. Wasting money that people need.

    All very good news in the article. I agree with one commenter, the money spent to block labeling is chump change to the corporations. They want to keep their profits. Therefore we need to keep undermining their profits. Use the NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED and CERTIFIED ORGANIC FOODS and spread the word on these choices.

    One point is to stop saying let’s label and say there is poison in the food, the toxic sprays are enough on that note, not even about the gm part of the product. Hit the nail and get the true attention of the voters.

    Another point is that all this is spent by us and by the corporation to get labeling on foods when it does not even touch the issue of the ingredients that are included that are gmo but do not need to be labeled. Where are we going if that is left undone?

    So the greatest point I have to make is people are hungry, they are starving even in America. Homeless, on a limited income when even their SNAP benefits have been cut, loss of medication and food. They need us, the people who care about health and their situations. Instead we are brought to fighting Monsanto. Yes, the one that is saying their corp will feed the world. But they cannot. And they blow their money on fighting labeling and taking us down with that cause.

    So in consideration of civic action to help our fellowman in the best way possible, I hope we can and will go back to undermining their profits by spreading awareness and giving all consumers the choices they can use to avoid the poisons. I also hope our funds do not go to fight Monsanto and the other corps for labeling.

    I am saying, a food drive of NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED and CERTIFIED ORGANIC foods collected for the cause – along with a momentum from the state and national media to bring that to focus, instead of blowing the money on advertising.

    So, I have sounded out the idea here, long thought of this in the past month. I think I will check into the best way to implement. Anyone want to get in touch and help, contact me on Facebook. The Essa Adams that is from Indiana.

    • Josie

      We need to win a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united. Getting corporate money out of politics. Monsanto is an example of this. Congress needs to abdicate their powers back and dictate to corporations.
      In the meantime labeling is left undone, but we have a right to know what is in our food. Continue to educate our consumers. Eggs are another factor on the label of cage-free or range free not GE-free and don’t be fooled by the word “natural” or “all natural” this is simply a clever marketing and has no significance. Studies have been shown that consumers would prefer the “natural” label over organic. Also educate consumers how to recognize fruit and vegetable label by identifying the PLU barcode in the produce section. Some grocery stores doing a better job than others in labeling Organic and Conventional but nothing on GMO.