The "Yes on 522" campaign to label GMOs has officially conceded


The Yes on 522 campaign to label genetically engineered foods in Washington officially conceded this evening, having won just under 49 percent of the vote. 

In a statement, the campaign blamed low election turnout among younger, more progressive voters and its deep-pocketed opposition, which it says "funded a campaign of lies that deceived Washington voters."  The campaign is already eyeing the 2016 election.

“Thank you to everyone who voted, volunteered, donated, and supported this effort,” said Trudy Bialic, a co-chair for Yes on 522. “There was lower than expected voter turnout this year. Despite being outspent 3-to-1, we are projecting winning 49% of the vote. We are disappointed with the results, but the polling is clear that Washingtonians support labeling and believe they have a right to know. This fight isn't over. We will be back in 2016 to challenge and defeat the out-of-state corporations standing in the way of our right to know.”

In the week following the general election, support for I-522 gained ground, but it wasn't enough. With an estimated 36,251 uncounted ballots by 5 p.m. today, support for I-522 was losing by more than 48,000 votes. 

Out-of-state biotech giants, including Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, and food-industry stalwarts from the Grocery Manufacturers Association donated more than $22 million to defeat the measure, making this initiative fight one of the most expensive in Washington state history.