We have reported (here and here) on the mounting opposition by big Food and Ag to I-522, the Washington state ballot initiative to label genetically modified food. Some have asked about the forces at work supporting the measure.
The opposition has raised $22 million primarily through two groups: The junk food industry (via the Grocery Manufacturers Association) and multinational seed and agri-chemical companies, including Monsanto and Dupont Pioneer. To date there are just five donations from individuals opposing the ballot measure, totaling $550.
To date, the Yes on 522 campaign has raised $7 million, largely via individual donors and natural and organic food brands, both from inside Washington and across the country. The Washington state Public Disclosure Commission record reflects thousands of individual donations of $50 or less.
One of the largest Yes donors includes PCC Natural Markets, a Seattle-based grocery store chain. It has been a major player supporting the bill, since the idea was at petition stage last year. It contributed $100,000 to the signature effort and collected in-store signatures for the petition that was presented to the Washington state legislature in January. Trudy Bialic, PCC’s director of public affairs, is the co-chair of the I-522 steering committee and since I-522 was put on the ballot, the company has donated an additional $100,000.
Washington-based industry support includes:
Nature’s Path Foods: $160,000
A line of organic cereals.
Barleans Organic Oils: $50,000
A line of organic flax and fish oils and chia seeds.
Full Circle Farm, Inc.: $2,500
Organic produce delivery service.
Sahale Snacks, Inc.: $1,000
A line of organic nut snacks.
Out-of-state industry support includes the following companies: (Please note this list is not comprehensive.)
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps: $1.7 million
Organic, fair trade soaps and skin care
Mercola.com Health Resources: $250,000
Natural medicine information and products
Annie’s, Inc.: $175,000
Certified organic product line of frozen foods, salad dressings, condiments, snacks, and macaroni and cheese.
A line of organic hemp, coconut, and chia seed products.
Clif Bar: $100,000
A line of energy bars and snacks.
GFA Brands, Inc.: $100,000
A line of oils and spreads under the brands Smart Balance and HeartRight.
Stonyfield Farm, Inc.: $90,000
A line of organic dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and frozen desserts.
Wallaby Yogurt Company: $65,000
A line of organic yogurts, kefir, and sour cream.
The Hain Celestial Group: $50,000
Brands include: Arrowhead Mills flours and baking mixes, De Boles pasta, Earth’s Best Organic baby food, Greek Gods yogurt, and Spectrum oils.
Frontier Natural Products: $45,000
A vast line of culinary and skin care products. Brands include: Simply Organic spices and Aura Cacia bath products.
Organic Valley: $25,000
Organic line of dairy products including: Milk, butter, and cheese, plus eggs and meat.
United Natural Foods, Inc.: $25,000
National distributor of organic and natural foods.
American Halal Company, Inc.: $22,500
A line of certified halal products including: Frozen foods, snacks, and broths, under the Saffron Road label.
Nurture, Inc.: $20,000
A line of organic baby food.
Diamond Foods: $15,000
Brands include: Kettle Brand potato chips, Diamond nuts, Pop Secret popcorn, and Emerald nut snacks.
Redwood Hill Farms: $15,000
Organic goat cheese, yogurt, and kefir.
Turtle Mountain, LLC: $15,000
A line of dairy-free frozen desserts and milk products under the So Delicious brand.
Earthbound Farm Organic: $15,000
A line of fresh and frozen organic produce and salad mixes.
Amy’s Kitchen, Inc.: $12,500
A line of non-GMO frozen foods under the Amy’s brand.
Product line includes deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, and cheese slices.
Brad’s Raw Chips, LLC: $10,000
A line of dehydrated chips and crackers made from organic vegetables.
Ciao Bella Gelato Co., Inc.: $10,000
A line of gelatos and sorbets.
Freeland Foods: $10,000
A line of raw sprouted snacks.
Jimbos Natural Family, Inc.: $10,000
Natural foods grocery chain with five locations in southern California.
Suja Life, LLC: $10,000
A line of organic cold-press fruit and vegetable juices.
ThinkThin, LLC: $10,000
A line of vegan protein bars.
Back to Nature Foods Company: $10,000
A line of shelf items that includes: Cookies, crackers, and granola.
Attune Foods: $10,000
Two lines of cereals under the Erewhon and Uncle Sam’s brand names.
Van’s International Foods: $10,000
A line of frozen breakfast items, plus cereals and snack bars.
Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics: $10,000
Online purveyor selling frozen and canned wild seafood, as well as fish oil supplements.
Aubrey Organics, Inc.: $5,000
A line of hair and skin products.
Aurora Organic Dairy: $5,000
Organic milk and butter.
Barney & Co California, Inc.: $5,000
A line of almond butter products.
Bi-O-Kleen Industries, Inc.: $5,000
A line of nontoxic cleaning products.
Califia Farms: $5,000
A line of citrus juices, almond milk, and cold coffee drinks.
Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products, Inc.: $5,000
Looseleaf and bagged Yerba mate and other products from South American rain forests.
Kamut International, Ltd: $5,000
Supplier of kamut wheat to manufacturers.
Lightlife Foods, Inc.: $5,000
A line of non-GMO soy products, that includes a line of organic tempeh. Brands include: Gimme Lean, Smart Bacon, and Tofu Pups.
Mamma Chia: $5,000
A line of organic chia seed snacks and drinks.
Straus Family Creamery: $5,000
A line of organic dairy products, including: Milk, ice cream, butter, and yogurt.
Mary’s Gone Crackers: $5,000
A line of gluten-free, organic cookies, crackers, and pretzels.
Organic Foods Express, Inc.: $5,000:
MOM’s Organic Market, with 10 stores in Maryland and Virginia.
Eden Foods, Inc.: $5,000
A line of organic products that includes: Canned beans, whole grains, juices, condiments, soymilk, and spices.
Wholesome Sweeteners: $5,000
A line of organic Fair Trade sugars, as well as organic stevia, agave, honey, and other liquid sweeteners.
Organically Grown Company: $3,000
Grower-owned organic produce wholesaler.
Premier Organics: $3,000
Brands include: Mr. Dewie’s almond milk, Ek Chok organic chocolate butters, and Artisana raw organic nut butters.
Bliss Unlimited, LLC: $2,604.25
A line of organic coconut milk-based ice creams.
Crofters Food Ltd: $2,500
Organic line of jams and fruit spreads.
Springfield Creamery, Inc.: $2,500
Line of organic dairy products sold under the Nancy’s brand.
Pamelas Products, Inc.: $2,500
Gluten-free baking mixes and packaged cookies.
Traditional Medicinals Wellness Teas: $2,500
Line of bagged tea.
Equal Exchange, Inc.: $2,500
Worker-owned cooperative selling a line of fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, avocados, bananas, and olive oil.
Late July Snacks, LLC: $2,500
A line of organic chips.
San-J International, Inc.: $1,000
A line of condiments and seasonings, including Tamari, Shoyu, and salad dressings.
Turtle Island Foods, Inc.: $1,000
A line of soy products under the Tofurky brand, plus assorted tempeh products.
Probar, LLC: $1,000
A line of vegan protein bars.
Good Karma Food Technologies, Inc.: $1,000
A line of dairy-free non-GMO milks.
Enjoy Life Natural Brands, LLC: $1,000
A line of gluten-free cookies, baking supplies, and baked goods.
Bragg Live Food Products & Health Science: $1,000
Line of organic apple cider vinegar, olive oil as well as its iconic brand, Liquid Aminos protein concentrate
Uncle Matt’s Organic, Inc.: $1,500
Line of organic juices and fresh fruit.
Rhythm Superfoods, LLC: $4,500
Non-GMO corn and kale chips.
The Yes campaign has received 11,138 donations of $25 or less.