Judge rules Food Democracy Now guilty of concealing donor names in 2013 GMO labeling campaign

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An anti-GMO organization violated Washington’s public disclosure law by concealing the names of more than 7,000 donors who contributed in 2013 to an initiative that would have required food makers to label products with genetically engineered ingredients, a judge ruled [April 22].

Food Democracy Now, based in Iowa, didn’t register as a political-action committee or report until after the election the sources of the $200,000 it contributed to the Yes on Initiative 522 campaign.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor rejected arguments that Food Democracy was a short-staffed non-profit and naive to Washington’s political laws.

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“They were able to get huge interest, with 7,000 people donating,” he said. “This is not an insubstantial amount of money that was contributed.”

Related article:  Food Democracy Now fined by Washington state for failing to disclose donors to anti-labeling initiative

The ruling was a second victory for the state Attorney General’s Office in cases stemming from the most-expensive political campaign Washington history.

Another Thurston County judge ruled in March that the Grocery Manufacturers Association was guilty of failing to disclose the names of the food and beverage companies that contributed to I-522’s defeat.

Read full, original post: Judge: Anti-GMO activists illegally concealed donors’ names

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