Nestlé was recently caught laundering over $1 million through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to defeat Washington State's I-522 GMO labeling initiative
October 30, 2013
Organic Consumers Association

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Genetic Engineering page.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2013    

CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207-653-3090; or Zack Kaldveer, 510-938-2664

FINLAND, Minn. – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today called on its million-plus network to boycott Nestlé USA’s organic Gerber Baby Food and Sweat Leaf Tea. Last year Nestlé contributed $1.5 million to help narrowly defeat Proposition 37, a California initiative to label GMOs. This year, rather than openly admit to consumers that the company is trying to hide the truth about the GMO ingredients in its products, Nestlé secretly funneled over $1 million, through the Grocery Manufacturers Association, to the campaign to defeat Washington State’s I-522 GMO labeling initiative.

“Nestlé wants to profit off the growing demand for organic alternatives while simultaneously spending, and even secretly funneling, whatever amount of money it takes to avoid having to label the genetically engineered junk food it sells to unsuspecting customers,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the OCA. “Every dollar we spend on Sweet Leaf Teas and Gerber organic baby foods increases the profit margins of a company that will break the law to prevent us from knowing what’s in our food.”

The GMA is a Washington D.C.-based multi-billion dollar lobbying group representing more than 300 corporations. The group was forced by the Washington State attorney general to disclose the names of its members who donated to the NO on I-522 campaign, and the amounts they donated.

According to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the GMA broke the all-time record for concealing the largest amount of money ever in a Washington State election. The GMA funneled the donations through what it called a “Defense of Brand Strategic Account,” a secret slush fund set up earlier in the year to fight GMO labeling laws while hiding the identities of the food company donors. The GMA created the account to shield food companies from the type of backlash  they experienced in 2012, after donating millions to defeat the Prop 37 GMO labeling initiative in California.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization advocating on behalf of more than one million consumers for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.