A glossy “No-on-Initiative 522″ flyer hit my Whidbey mailbox this weekend, its denunciations of “complex requirements” and “new taxpayer coss” following classic themes used by large corporate interests to defeat state ballot initiatives.
In tiny print, as required by law, a “top five contributors” to the anti-522 campaign were listed. The Grocery Manufacturers Association was tops, followed by Montsanto, DuPont Pioneer and a couple other big agribusiness interests.
The claims that I-522 is “misleading” should bring tears to your eyes, if you happen to be a crocodile.
The people leveling that accusation have mastered the art in their own campaign. (I-522 would require labeling of most genetically modified raw agricultural products, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks sold in Washington.)
The Grocery Manufactuers Association is an umbrella. It is protecting America’s biggest food companies from potential negative publicity of being associated with a controversial campaign. The companies can donate to the GMA, their lobbying group, which writes the checks to No-on-522.
As a consumer, as a citizen, a couple fundamentals govern the choices presented to me. I like to know what is in footstuffs and other products seen on shelves. And I like to know who is divying up the money to persuade me to vote one way or another.
My health is an issue in what I buy. Knowing who is bought, or what interests are seeking to buy my vote, bears on the health of my county, state and country.
The dodging of disclosure has become a high — or rather low — art of politics.