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GMO Initiative in Washington Results in Penalty for the Grocery Manufacturers Association


Mar 8, 2017


The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) was ordered to pay $18 million in an adverse judgement for illegally structuring contributions to oppose a GM labeling initiative in Washington State.  In addition, the association was ordered to pay $1.1 million in legal fees.

According to testimony, GMA provided $14 million to a campaign to defeat Initiative 522 in Washington State.


Contributors to the Defensive Brands account included PepsiCo contributing $3 million and Coca-Cola and Nestle, $2 million each.  The GMA established the Defensive Brands account to shield the identity of contributors to the campaign.

In a judgement, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch ruled that GMA intentionally contravened state campaign finance laws.