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"The opposition had Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow on their side and the largest campaign budget in our county's history, but with the expertise and support from the Center for Food Safety our group of 150 family farmers beat the chemical corporations and won a precedent-setting win that will protect family farmers from genetically engineered crops for decades to come."
-Elise Higley
Farmer and Director of the Our Family Farms Coalition in Jackson County, Oregon
Monsanto Spends 4.5 Million Dollars to Oppose Washington GE labeling Campaign
September 10th, 2013

Food Movement Puts Industry on the Defensive

Chemical and agribusiness powerhouse Monsanto has just invested $4.5 million to defeat the I-522 campaign, a state ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods in the state of Washington.  The initiative will be on the ballot in the upcoming general election in November. Current polls show 64% of likely voters are strongly in favor of the initiative, but the influx of corporate money threatens to undermine consumer choice.

“Monsanto’s aggressive tactics in Washington show that the agrichemical industry is staunchly against the public on this issue.  Consumers have overwhelmingly called for the labeling of GE foods, yet Monsanto is committed to withholding that information and denying consumers a choice,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety.

“The agrichemical industry spent over $45 million dollars on a misleading campaign in California to defeat Proposition 37, and only won with a narrow 3 percent margin.  It appears they will attempt the same big spend strategy here in Washington; anything to deny the public of their basic right to know,” added Kimbrell.

“Agrichemical companies are running scared. And they should be,” added Kimbrell. “There is a reason that a chemical company is spending millions of dollars on a campaign on food labeling. Millions to keep you in the dark is nothing compared to the billions made from contaminating our food and environment with pesticides.”

Washington is on track to be the first state to implement GE food labeling, should the initiative pass.  Connecticut and Maine each passed GE labeling laws this past spring, but both bills include a trigger clause requiring several other states to also pass labeling bills before the new laws can be implemented.

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About Center for Food Safety

Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.

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