Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pepsi, Coke, Nestle Pump Millions Into Anti-GMO Labeling Initiative

Posted By on Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Consumers are keeping a close eye on a unique initiative on a November election ballot in Washington state that would require labeling on genetically modified foods. Washington voters are starting to receive absentee ballots in what the Associated Press is already calling one of the costliest initiative fights ever in the state.

In fact, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Nestle are three of about a dozen companies that have, thus far, spent more than $7 million to help defeat Initiative No. 522. Campaign finance records indicate that Pepsi has spent about $1.6 million, followed by Coke and Nestle, each contributing just over $1 million. Other contributors include General Mills, Kellogg, Hershey and ConAgra.

But Washington's attorney general had to sue the anti-GMO labeling effort because it tried to shield the identities of the companies to protect them from scrutiny, according to the AP.

Supporters of the initiative say consumers have the right to know whether foods they buy contain GMOs, but opponents insist that the extra label would cost farmers and food processors and that such a label "implies the food is somehow less safe."

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