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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today praised Washington state voters for rejecting a proposal that would have required labeling of genetically modified food ingredients.?
"We are pleased that the voters of Washington state rejected I-522 by a significant margin," said GMA President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey. "I-522 was a complex and costly proposal that would have misled consumers, raised the price of groceries for Washington families and done nothing to improve food safety.?
"Genetically modified food ingredients (GMOs) are safe, good for the environment, reduce the cost of food and help feed a growing global population of seven billion," Bailey added. "Because a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws would be confusing and costly to consumers, GMA will advocate for a federal solution that will protect consumers by ensuring that the FDA, the America's leading food safety authority, sets national standards for the safety and labeling of products made with GMO ingredients. Our country's labeling laws have and should continue to be based on health, safety and nutritional content."
??The campaign over Initiative 522 has been one of the costliest initiative fights in state history, according to published reports.
While early polling suggested that voters favored the measure, TV and radio advertising financed by GMA and five biotechnology companies may have helped persuade Washington residents to rethink their positions.
Groups opposing I-522 helped raise $22 million. Hefty contributions came from Monsanto Co., DuPont Pioneer and GMA, which collected millions in donations from the nation's top food companies, including Nestle SA, General Mills Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.
Many of those companies mounted a $46 million defense to defeat a similar food-labeling measure in California last year.