Pepsi, Coca-Cola Secretly Fund Anti GMO-Labelling Movement

Feb 23, 2016 04:20 AM EST | By Staff Reporter

The country's largest food corporations are under fire for not divulging the ingredients in their products. They are also criticized for using very few healthy ingredients and too much glucose and financing a campaign against the government's food labelling initiative.

The Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA) allegedly covered up approximately $11 million worth of payouts that defeated state labelling ballot initiative. Washington State attorney, Bob Ferguson, states that the GMA covered up the names of donors financing the campaign against Initiative 522.

The Washington State legislature uncovered and made public documents from the GMA that contained plans intended for their contributors to go against the campaign in the movement called "No on 522". A report from Fortune.com listed down 10 of the biggest contributors along with the amount they shelled out:

  • PepsiCo - $1.7 million
  • Nestlé USA - $1.1 million
  • General Mills - $646,000
  • Coca-Cola - $565,000
  • ConAgra - $308,000
  • Campbell Soup - $268,000
  • The Hershey Company - $268,000
  • J.M. Smucker - $260,000
  • Kellog - $239,000
  • Mondelez - $156,000

Aside from going against the initiative, the Washington State also alleges that the GMA has shielded the identity of other contributors. A separate analysis from the EWG revealed that within the past three years, these companies have spent over $143 million to combat the GMO-labelling movement. While the attorney general states that these activities are unlawful, the GMA says that their actions were legal and has filed motions for lawsuits against them to be dismissed.

Initiative 522 is the move by the Washington State Legislature which stipulates that genetically-engineered foods should be included in labels. The initiative generated enough signatures that it was forwarded tp the legislature for consideration during 2013. However, 51 percent of the members opposed the initiative. Aside from mandatory labelling, other information that would be revealed through the initiative include allergens, animal welfare, and environmental policies.

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