Monday, November 4, 2013

Record-Setting Outside Money Pours Into Washington to Combat GMO Labeling Initiative

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

An increasing amount of outside money is trying to influence a Washington State vote on a contentious GMO ballot initiative.

This morning's Seattle Times reports that of the record-setting $22 million raised to oppose a proposal to label genetically modified food, only $550 has come from inside the state. On the flip side, proponents of the measure have pumped $8.4 million into their campaign with $5.8 million coming from inside Washington.

The Times' Brian Rosenthal writes, "It's a phenomenon that has rarely been seen here on such a large scale."

The $22 million total to combat the GMO labeling measure, officially known as Initiative 522, is the most-ever raised for one side of an initiative election in Washington history. Second on the list was the $20 million 2011 campaign which successfully privatized liquor sales in the state.

“I think the initiative process has gotten far away from its roots. It used to be a populist check on government excess,” Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz told the Times. “Now, you’ve got wealthy people paying to get things on the ballot and companies dominating the debate.”

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