Washington State Initiative 522

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Washington State's Initiative 522 (I-522) is a ballot initiative in Washington State that would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).[1] The ballot initiative was initially filed on June 29, 2012, with votes due on November 5, 2013.[2] After a barrage of ads, Washington voters slid from from a 66 percent show of support for labeling GMOs in food six weeks before election day[3] to defeating Initiative 522 for GMO labeling at the polls, with preliminary results showing 55 percent against.[4]

Initially, I-522 was heavily favored in polls, but by October 21, two weeks before Election Day, polling was too close to call. A Seattle Times blog post attributed the shift to "a barrage of opposition advertisements over the last month."[5] This pattern resembles the campaign for California's Proposition 37 of 2012, which also initially won in polls but ultimately narrowly lost. In both cases, industry poured millions of dollars into the state to oppose the initiatives. In the I-522 fight, as of November 6, the No campaign raised $22 million compared to $7.9 million for the Yes campaign.[6]

Funding

No on I-522 Donors

Donors opposing I-522 included:[7]

Yes on I-522 Donors

Several organizations support I-522. They include:[7]

  • Yes on I-522 Committee: $7,889,928.46
  • Organic Consumers Fund Committee to Label GMOs in WA State: $798,396.18
  • Label It WA: $513,006.48
  • Farmers & Friends of Initiative 522: $80,191.50
  • EWG Yes on I-522 Comm: $30,432.77
  • GMO Right to Know: $500.00

The largest of these groups, the Yes on I-522 Committee, received 9,204 contributions from corporations, organizations, cooperatives, farms, and individuals. About 97 percent of donations were under $1000. Top donors to the group were as follows, as of October 22, 2013:[8]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

External Articles

References

  1. Initiative 522 Final Text, Washington Secretary of State.
  2. Yes On 522, Accessed October 22, 2013.
  3. Dean Patton, Ballot measure to label GMO foods is a tossup in Washington State, Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2013.
  4. Washington State Office of the Secretary of State, Initiative to the Legislature 522 Concerns labeling of genetically-engineered foods, state government website, accessed November 6, 2013.
  5. GMO-labeling I-522 clings to lead, but momentum has shifted ," Seattle Times, October 21, 2013, Accessed October 22, 2013.
  6. Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Initiative 522: Contributions, state governmental website, accessed November 6, 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Initiative Committees by Ballot Number: 2013 522, state governmental website, accessed November 6, 2013.
  8. Funders of Yes on I-522, Washington Secretary of State, Accessed October 22, 2013.