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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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GMO labeling supporters fined $320K over campaign disclosure

Associated Press

OLYMPIA – An Iowa-based organization that supported a Washington state ballot measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods in 2013 has been fined nearly $320,000 over campaign finance violations.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor issued the fine Monday against Food Democracy Action. The group must also pay the state’s legal fees and trial costs.

Earlier this month, another Thurston County judge ordered the initiative’s opponents, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, to pay $18 million in civil fines for concealing the true sources of $11 million in contributions received from some of the nation’s biggest food and beverage companies.

Ferguson said Food Democracy Action collected almost $300,000 from its supporters and transferred $200,000 of that to support Initiative 522, but didn’t register its political action committee or identify its 3,100 donors until after the election. The initiative failed.

The organization did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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