Washington state's attorney general files lawsuit accusing Grocery Manufacturers Assn. of improperly collecting, spending more than US$7M toward defeating state initiative that would require labeling on GMO foods

SEATTLE , October 16, 2013 () – Washington's attorney general has filed a lawsuit accusing a food industry group of violating state campaign finance laws.

The office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a filing Wednesday that the Grocery Manufacturers Association improperly collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identities of contributors. The food industry has been working to defeat Initiative 522 that would require labeling on genetically modified foods.

Much of the money used in the campaign to oppose I-522 has come from the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Ferguson says the association improperly established a special account that would be used to oppose the initiative when the organization should have formed a separate political committee that would require increased disclosure.

Voters will decide on I-522 next month.

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© 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.