GMO labeling proponents concede narrow loss on initiative

Nov. 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A Washington state initiative that would have required labels on genetically modified foods has been defeated, labeling supporters said.

The admission, nine days after the Nov. 5 election, came after vote tallies showed the measure lost by 3 percent, The Olympian in Olympia, Wash., reported Thursday.

Trudy Bialac, co-chair of the "Yes on 522" campaign, promised in a statement that "this fight isn't over. We will be back in 2016 to challenge and defeat the out-of-state corporations standing in the way of our right to know," she said.

Yes on 522's statement noted the initiative received 49 percent of the vote despite a low voter turnout in an off-year election and being outspent by a margin of 3-to-1.

Out-of-state food and agribusiness firms spent $20.13 million to defeat the proposition. The largest donor was the Grocery Manufacturers Association, whose members contributed $11 million. Monsanto, which makes many GMO products, contributed more than $5 million.

In contrast, Yes on 522 raised about $8 million and spent $7 million.

The Washington attorney general has sued the GMA for allegedly collecting donations illegally before registering as a political action committee.

The same industries defeated a similar labeling bill in California in 2012.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting