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Mon Mar 14, 2016, 01:17 PM

Food industry conspired to circumvent campaign disclosure laws in anti-GMO label referendum

The nation’s largest food industry group broke the “spirit and letter” of the law when it concealed the backers of a multimillion dollar campaign to kill a food-labeling initiative, a state of Washington Superior Court judge ruled on Friday.

The pre-trial ruling ... 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, Nestle and Coca Cola.

The state Initiative 522, which would have required food labels for genetically modified ingredients, was narrowly defeated.
http://fortune.com/2016/03/13/big-food-illegally-hid-funders-of-campaign-to-kill-gmo-labeling-effort-judge-rules/

The statute reads: "If the violation is found to have been intentional, the amount of the judgment, which shall for this purpose include the costs, may be trebled as punitive damages."

Triple damages? A trial will decide.

Hirsch determined that there's still a factual dispute over whether the Grocery Manufacturers Association circumvention of Washington law was intentional.

The judge did not determine a penalty, ruling that the case will continue to trial on disputed facts.
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Judge-rules-Washington-D-C-food-lobby-6884935.php

So, here's the thing. Even if the food industry loses at trial, and the loss is upheld on appeal--and that's a BIG if--the amount of money they will be fined, even with the triple amount in punitive damages, will just be a drop in the bucket compared to how much they save by being able to use genetically-modified ingredients and not having to list that on the labels. In other words, just a tiny fraction in the cost of doing business ...

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Reply Food industry conspired to circumvent campaign disclosure laws in anti-GMO label referendum (Original post)
TheDormouse Mar 2016 OP
old guy Mar 2016 #1
TheDormouse Mar 2016 #2
old guy Mar 2016 #3

Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Mon Mar 14, 2016, 01:38 PM

1. A dispute over it being intentional?

Not a defense. Ignorance of the law has never been a defense.

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Response to old guy (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 14, 2016, 01:40 PM

2. They claim they always intended to comply with the law &

say that their lawyer told them what they were doing was legal.

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Response to TheDormouse (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 14, 2016, 01:48 PM

3. But officer my speedometer said I was going 55 not 75 like the radar said.

Not that it matters at all, but I don't believe it.

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