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Food industry spent $9 million lobbying against GMO labeling laws in first quarter

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The food industry spent $9 million lobbying Congress to oppose laws requiring labeling for genetically modified products in the first quarter of this year, nearly matching its total spending for all of last year, a new report said.

The Washington D.C.-based Environmental Working Group said big spenders included the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which spent $1.2 million, and the Coca-Cola Co., which spent $2.6 million, on anti-labeling lobbying in the first three months of the year.

The group said that the total from lobbying expenditure forms citing genetically engineered labeling for the first quarter nearly matched the $9.3 million tallied in all of 2013. The increased spending underscores the pitched battle over labeling laws, which are being proposed in several states.

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In May, Vermont became the first state to require labeling of genetically engineered products, a rule that is being challenged by the food industry in court. Oregon and Colorado will vote on labeling later this year.

Some major companies such as General Mills Inc. have spun skepticism over bioengineering into a marketing opportunity. Earlier this year, the food giant dropped genetically engineered ingredients from its signature Cheerios breakfast cereal.

Read the full, original article: Lobbying expenditures against GMO labeling soar this year

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