Washington State Appeals Court Upholds Fine for Donor Non-Disclosure

The Washington State 2nd Division Court of Appeals has affirmed a fine of $319,281 against an anti-GMO group, saying that a lack of intent does not constitute a defense for withholding the public disclosure of donor names.

From CapitalPress.com :

“In a 2-1 ruling, the court rejected Food Democracy Now’s argument that it shouldn’t have been convicted because it didn’t intentionally hide the donations. Writing for the majority, Judge Rich Melnick said the law doesn’t make an exception for unintentionally concealing the source of campaign contributions.

The fine stemmed from Initiative 522. The measure would have required food and beverage makers to label products with GMO ingredients. The initiative, which narrowly failed, provoked the most-expensive election campaign ever in Washington.”

As a result of this ruling, a previously overturned $18 million fine against the Grocer’s Manufacturer’s Association for the same violation is being reconsidered, as the turning point in that case was a cited lack of intent on the part of the GMA.

The 2nd Division Court of Appeals Opinion on the Food Democracy Now case can be found HERE

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