by Jeff Clemetson, Editor
It’s like it has become some often repeated plot to a bad horror movie – a popular initiative that has widespread appeal and seems about to pass is suddenly attacked by a marauding horde of zombie-like corporate food company executives who use ghostly lies to upend the poor initiative and although the initiatives spirit lives on in some obscure character that vows to fight another day, the place where the battle was fought is forever scarred. That is exactly what happened in Washington last week when voters failed to pass the GMO labeling law known as I-522.
Even just a few weeks ago, I-522 was poised to pass but after a false ad campaign waged by Monsanto and other chemical food companies through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the bill was eventually defeated. Once again, money played more of an influential role than science or health in determining the outcome of the vote as the initiatives backers were outspent by a far greater margin than any election in Washington State’s history on an initiative.
From the get go, the GMA and the companies it is funded by were up to no good as they attempted to hide the identities of Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Monsanto and other junk food producers as the real backers of the effort to defeat I-522 by creating an illegal slush fund. Washington State Attorney General Bon Furguson eventually forced the hand of the GMA to release a list of its donors after he threatened a court injunction against the trade group for violating the Public Disclosure Act.
These actions are nothing new to the people who are advocating for the right to know what is in our food supply. Last year, the GMA and its corporate backers used the same tactics to raise money and outspend the proponents of Prop 37 in California which would have also required GMO products to be labeled.
What state will be the scene of the next horror movie of zombie CEOs throwing money to produce false and misleading ads to kill a pub lic health initiative which most people want? My guess would be Oregon. Because of the anger at Monsanto for destroying the wheat crop industry in the state, Oregon could be the perfect battleground to finally turn back the GMO zombie apocalypse.