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Repeat of Prop 37? Chemical industry swoops in during final hour to kill GMO labeling in Washington; Segments of 'natural,' organic products industry still missing

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: I-522, GMO labeling, campaign contributions

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(NaturalNews) Washington has taken the baton from California in an effort to be the first state in America to require the labeling of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). But like with Proposition 37 in California, which was defeated by a very slim (and highly questionable) margin back in 2012, the chemical industry is now dumping huge amounts of cash into defeating this initiative during the final hour, while a number of major names in organic and "natural" food, including Trader Joe's, Sprouts Farmers Market and Hain Celestial, are nowhere to be found in offering any financial support whatsoever during the final push to pass I-522.

According to the Yes on 522 campaign, neither Trader Joe's nor Sprouts has contributed financially to I-522, nor have they even endorsed the effort, as of this writing. Hain Celestial and its various brands are listed as endorsers of the effort, but as far as we can tell, the company itself has not donated financially to the cause, which is what really matters when it comes to fighting the deep pockets of the opposition.

Meanwhile, a number of brands in the health imposter category, which include brands like Kashi (owned by the Kellogg Company), Horizon Organic (owned by Dean Foods), Santa Cruz Organic (owned by Smucker's) and Larabar (owned by General Mills), are actually working against I-522. Believe it or not, each of these companies is either owned by a parent company or aligned with a front group that actually wants to keep GMOs a secret.

The non-profit organic advocacy group Cornucopia Institute has created a helpful infographic that illustrates where all your favorite "natural" and organic food brands stand on the issue of GMO labeling, and specifically I-522. You can view this powerful graphic here: (http://www.cornucopia.org)

Why are some purveyors of non-GMOs refusing to lend their support to I-522?

So where exactly is Hain Celestial, which is more than happy to scarf down its piece of the multi-billion dollar natural products pie, in actually fighting for honest food labeling by pledging financial support for I-522? What about Trader Joe's, which claims to oppose the use of GMOs in its own products? Or Sprouts, a burgeoning health food grocer in the Midwest? Do these companies care at all that Monsanto and the others are pulling the same strategy they used to defeat Prop. 37 by pouring money into the No on 522 campaign?

This is the million-dollar question that people like Ronnie Cummins from the Organic Consumers Association and we here at NaturalNews are also wondering. Just like with Prop. 37, I-522 has had more public support than opposition since its inception. But as of September 11, this appears to be changing, as Monsanto, DuPont and the other corporate food villains swoop in with their last-minute, multi-million dollar donations to deceive the public and kill I-522.

"Will the supposed champions of consumers' right to know, the Organic and 'Natural' Elite, please stand up and be counted?" wrote Cummins in a scathing piece recently about this apparent betrayal by a large segment of the natural products industry. Some of the companies that Cummins mentions in his piece have since donated some money or resources to the Yes on 522 campaign.

Meanwhile, leading the charge just as they did with Prop. 37 are major donors Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Organic Consumers Fund Committee, Mercola.com, Presence Marketing, William T. Weiland (from Presence Marketing), Nature's Path Foods and the Center for Food Safety Action Fund among many others. NaturalNews has also pledged to donate $10,000 to the Yes on 522 campaign. This brings total Yes on 522 campaign contributions to around $3.3 million.

As far as the opposition, Monsanto reportedly dumped another $4.6 million into the No on 522 campaign just recently, and DuPont Pioneer also contributed an additional $3.2 million -- as of Sept. 11, this brings the total No on 522 campaign war chest to a whopping $11 million.

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