A state of Washington Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that Big Food illegally hid $14 million in funds that were used to work against a Washington state food labeling bill. Big Food intentionally concealed who the backers of the campaign were and that, according to the judge, went against the “spirit and letter” of the law. According to Fortune.com, the facts are just indisputable.
The pre-trial ruling, by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch, found that the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, the food industry group, violated the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws when it tried to hide the identities of the corporate funders. GMA had waged a fight against Washington’s 2013 food-labeling initiative, with $11 million in donations from PepsiCo PEP -0.65% , Nestle nestle-s-a and Coca Cola KO 0.20% .The state Initiative 522, which would have required food labels for genetically modified ingredients, was narrowly defeated.“There is one, and only one, reasonable inference that can be drawn from the facts before this court: that the GMA intentionally took steps to create and then hide the true source of the funds…from the voting public of Washington State,” the judge wrote.
Here is Campbell Soup receiving high praise on NPR back in January.
Campbell Soup Switches Sides In The GMO Labeling Fight
In a letter to the company’s employees, posted on Campbell’s website, Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison wrote that the company was responding to the desires of consumers, but it also wanted to avoid multiple and conflicting demands for GMO labeling by individual states. “Printing a clear and simple statement on the label is the best solution for consumers and for Campbell,” Morrison wrote.
Eloquent and inspiring PR from a company that just a few years before, participated in the illegal take-down funding of a basic health right’s bill.