I’m pro-the initiative process in theory. But man alive does how much money gets thrown at it make me not like it in fact.
Major agribusiness companies and grocery chains appear set on a “Shock and Awe” approach to defeating Initiative 522 on Washington’s November ballot, and have poured nearly $9 million into the cause over the last two days.
The latest big bucks include $3.2 million from Dupont, on top of $171,281 previously given; a $562,000 pledge from Dow Agrisciences and a $500,000 pledge from BASF Plant Science. Montsanto made the biggest investment earlier in the week with a $4.5 million contribution to the No-on-522 campaign.
I mean really, $9 Million in just two days. That attempt to buy having the law what they want is just stunning. Even if you don’t like food labeling, that should be enough to put you into the “sure, why not” camp. I can’t imagine anyone thinking Dow and Monsanto should be able to keep the law as they like it if they have enough money. But we’ll see.
That said, I would be interested in how well the frankenfood industry does here. The last few examples of big industry buying their way to success in the initiative process (Costco’s liquor store privatization, the plastic industry defeating the Seattle bag fee and the junk food industry keeping extra taxes off sugary foods*) don’t bode well. But, I’d suspect that labeling is more popular than taxes and liquor stores. This might be a tougher task than those.
* This list originally had the income tax, but since the Gates family and others supported it, it had money on both sides, and wasn’t quite the same dynamic.