One of the things I find interesting about Initiative 522 is the amount of national attention this is getting based on the amount of money pouring in from out of state. As of this writing, according to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission those against initiative 522 has raised over 30 million dollars, as compared to the Yes on 522 organizations who have raised over 7 million dollars.
I have looked through the C3’s to get an idea as to who the contributors are, and it looks like (to no one’s surprise) its agribusiness on the ‘No’ side vs the Organic food providers and distributors on the ‘Yes’ side. This Article give a great summary of the breakdown.
The other interesting thing that can be found in the public filings is how the Yes on 522 and No on 522 spend their money. If you are in the mood for some casual reading – just skim the C4 documents on the No on 522 committee on the Public Disclosure Commission Website to see what their money is spent on. Looks to me like a lot spent on professional fees to out of state organizations or individuals located in Olympia. It makes the spending by the Yes on 522 look spartan in comparison, looks like they have just hired a few local activists and buy their supplies at Sears and OfficeMax.
So which way should I vote? Vote with agribusiness to suppress the labeling of GMO’s, in order to help stem the growing backlash against genetically modified food? Or vote with the Organic producers and distributors, who are trying to persuade the public to buy more organics and shun the agribusiness food supply. I guess if all that the Yes on 522 side is asking for is to label the food (after all – organics are labeled) – then I have to vote for the side of more information for the consumer. I don’t buy the argument that agribusiness is spending 30 million plus because they don’t want to spend extra money for a labeling change. At least I know why the Organics companies are supporting it.
So count me in for yes on 522. Lets have more information on what is in our food, and let agribusiness give us more information to convince us why we shouldn’t be afraid of GMO’s. I think that’s a debate that needs to happen, and 522 gets us going in that direction.