Washington state judge fines activists on both sides of 2013 GMO law debate


A Washington state judge has ordered the Grocery Manufacturers Association on Wednesday to pay nearly $1.1 million in legal fees, adding to the record-setting $18 million fine she levied in November [2016] against the trade group for campaign disclosure violations.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch awarded the amount sought by the attorney general’s office. Hirsch ruled last year [2016] that GMA broke state law by failing to identify the food and beverage companies that contributed to a campaign in 2013 to defeat Initiative 522.

The measure would have required the packaged-food industry to label products that have genetically modified ingredients. The initiative, seen as setting a precedent for other states, was narrowly defeated.

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

Hirsch imposed by far the largest fine ever in the US for a campaign disclosure commission.


GMA has told the court it will appeal.

The attorney general’s office also won a $319,281 judgment against Food Democracy Now for failing to identify donors who contributed to the “yes” campaign. The state sought and received $93,000 in legal fees in that case.

The Iowa-based anti-GMO group has also filed a notice that it will appeal.


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Washington judge hands food companies $1 million legal tab

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