Election Center

Initiative 522

This measure would require foods produced entirely or partly with genetic engineering, as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale in Washington, beginning in July 2015. The labeling requirement would apply generally to raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stock, with some exceptions, but would not require that specific genetically-engineered ingredients be identified. The measure would authorize state enforcement and civil penalties, and allow private enforcement actions.

Election results

93
OptionVotesPct
No 623,756 54.32%
Yes 524,525 45.68%

Related coverage

House panel hears debate on modified salmon

OLYMPIA – Last year’s ballot battle over genetically modified food got a rerun in a legislative committee Friday as some fishing groups called for a ban on re-engineered salmon and others said the idea was unnecessary fear-mongering. The House Agriculture Committee considered but did not vote on HB 214, which would also require any genetically modified salmon sold in Washington stores to be labeled.


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GMO labeling initiative appears headed for failure; Eyman’s I-517 rejected

Washington voters signaled they are leery of requiring labels on genetically modified foods, satisfied with their century-old initiative process and have mixed advice for the Legislature on taxes. Initiative 522, which would have required many foods and beverages that contain genetically modified ingredients sold in Washington to carry labels, was trailing Tuesday night by more than 95,000 votes and appeared headed for defeat.


Washington elections draw big out-of-state donations

SEATTLE – Initiative 522 would change the law only in Washington state, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the lists of campaign donors. Of the $22 million raised to oppose the proposal to label genetically engineered food, exactly $550 has come from individuals and companies based in Washington, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.


More money pours into Washington food labeling fight

SEATTLE — A group fighting food labeling in Washington state has busted the record for the most money raised by an initiative campaign in state history.


No on Initiative 522 campaign sees influx of cash from food industry group

SEATTLE – With a week to go before the November election, the Grocery Manufacturers Association is turning up the heat in the fight over labeling genetically engineered foods, spending heavily in recent days to defeat Initiative 522. The Washington, D.C.-based food industry group on Thursday and Friday made two cash donations totaling about $3.7 million to the No on 522 campaign, according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. The group, which has collected money from major food companies, has given a total of $11 million to defeat I-522.


GMO labeling measure losing steam?

The onslaught of commercials castigating Initiative 522, the genetically engineered food labeling measure on the November ballot, may be taking their toll. A new survey by The Elway Poll shows support for I-522 has dropped precipitously in the last month. In September, about two-thirds of…


Food labeling initiative ad claims merit warnings

SEATTLE – With weeks until the November election, the claims and counterclaims have been flying in the fight over whether genetically engineered foods should be labeled. The campaigns on both sides of Initiative 522 have bombarded the airwaves in one of the most costly initiative battles in state history.


Pepsi among major brands opposing food labeling initiative

SEATTLE – Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Nestle are among the major brands that have contributed to an effort to oppose a food labeling initiative in Washington, according to documents made public Friday. The Grocery Manufacturers Association identified about three dozen companies that contributed a combined $7.2 million to help defeat Initiative 522, which would require labeling on genetically modified foods.


Grocers’ lobby sued over I-522 financing

SEATTLE – Washington’s attorney general accused a food industry group Wednesday of violating state campaign finance laws for how it collected and spent more than $7 million to oppose a food labeling initiative. The office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson said it was moving quickly to seek a temporary restraining order, hoping that the Grocery Manufacturers Association would soon disclose who contributed to the cause as voters prepare to cast their ballots. Some parts of the food industry have been working to defeat Initiative 522, which would require labeling on genetically modified foods.


AP: Ferguson suing anti GMO labeling donor

Attorney General Bob Ferguson held a press conference this morning to announce a lawsuit against a group that has given some $7 million to the campaign against Initiative 522. Here’s an updated report from Mike Baker of the Associated Press: SEATTLE (AP) — Washington’s attorney…


In Washington’s GMO labeling campaigns, most money from out of state

OLYMPIA – For a clear picture of how Washington voters are the target of a national food fight over genetically modified ingredients, one need only look at contributions for and against Initiative 522. In this high-stakes battle, the Yes on I-522 campaign has collected more than $4.6 million in contributions and the No on I-522 campaign more than $17.1 million.


Ads dispute whether pet food would have to be labeled for GMOs

The opening salvo in the battle over the proposal to label genetically modified foods includes ammunition that hit the mark last year in California: Food you buy for Rover would have to be labeled, if it contains those products, recent commercials for opponents say, but steaks you throw on the grill would not. Wrong on both counts, say supporters of Initiative 522. Pet food isn’t covered by the initiative, but genetically modified meats would have to be labeled if they ever reach the local supermarket.


I-522 fight over pet food

The opening salvo in the battle over the proposal to label genetically modified foods includes ammunition that hit the mark last year in California: Food you buy for Rover would have to be labeled if it contains those products, recent commercials for opponents say, but…


GMO labeling initiative likely to be most hotly contested issue

Prepare for an onslaught of ads praising or condemning new labels at the supermarket in a multimillion-dollar battle over genetically modified foods. Campaigns for and against Initiative 522 broke out their first television ads this week in the closely watched fight over efforts to force labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms, also known as GMOs.


Today’s fun video: Taking on Monsanto

Daily Show takes on Monsanto in its fight with farmers over seeds. Which makes it kind of interesting that many farmers are siding with Monsanto in the current campaign over genetically engineered foods and Initiative 522.


GMO issue attracts out-of-state interest

OLYMPIA – In another sign that Washington will be the national battleground this fall for the fight over genetically altered foods, opponents of a ballot measure requiring those products to be labeled raised almost $1 million last month. None of it came from Washington state.


No on I-522 money flooding in from out of state

OLYMPIA – In another sign that Washington will be the national battleground this fall over genetically altered foods, opponents of a ballot measure requiring those products to be labeled raised almost $1 million last month. None of it came from Washington state… To…


Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to back I-522

One of the founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream said today his Vermont-based company will back a Washington initiative to require all foods to be labeled if they contain genetically modified ingredients. Jerry Greenfield said Wednesday the company would give away “tons” of ice…


GMO labeling campaign money mostly from outside state

OLYMPIA – Out-of-state money pouring into the campaign coffers of this fall’s initiative to require labeling of genetically modified food products make clear that Washington will once again be a battleground state for progressive causes. Supporters of Initiative 522, which would require any product sold in Washington stores to say if it contains genetically altered substances, have raised nearly $2 million for various campaign organizations. Three-fourths of it came from businesses or people outside Washington.


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