LABELING FOOD – Can a Small Group of Moms Make a Difference?

LABELING FOOD – Can a Small Group of Moms Make a Difference?


Food and Travel Nation with Elizabeth Dougherty
LABELING FOOD – Can a Small Group of Moms Make a Difference?
The TRUTH about Food and Travel
Original Broadcast Date:  10/23/2013

From the Food And Travel Nation Interview Archives:

Elizabeth Dougherty spoke with Karen Andonian of Moms for Labeling and her attorney Knoll Lowney.

Moms for Labeling is a group of concerned Seattle mothers who want to see genetically modified foods labeled properly.  After their small non-profit organization filed a lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association claiming that the GMA is acting as a Political Action Committee in its support of the “I 522″ ballot initiative, the GMA sued them.

Moms for Labeling alleged that the GMA was acting improperly by not identifying member companies who have donated money for political initiatives as required by Washington state law.

The GMA fought back against Moms for Labeling, using the financial might of some of the biggest companies in the world to file a countersuit against this small group of moms.

Last Friday, Thurston County Judge handed down his decision and ruled in favor of the GMA.  Almost immediately, the GMA claimed victory over Moms, but in reading Judge Chris Wickham’s decision, the judge made it clear that his decision was based on a technicality and the calendar.

Judge Wickham ruled that Moms for Labeling, a newly formed organization, had violated state filing procedures by not waiting the required 55 days after giving notice of an action to sue.

Judge Wickham also wrote:  “So I will find that plaintiff is unable to show by clear and convincing evidence that they have a probability of prevailing on the claim — not that there isn’t merit in the underlying claim — but that they can’t get by the time limit and notice provision of the statute.”

In addition to having their lawsuit dismissed, Wickham issued Moms for Labeling a fine of $10,000 plus attorneys’ fees.

The case of Moms for Labeling in Washington State has taken several big steps forward over the past two weeks.

Moms saw their original complaint against the Grocery Manufacturers thrown out on a technicality.  The Attorney General of Washington took up the cause and brought his own action against the GMA.  In a surprising move, the GMA released the names and contributions as Moms had originally asked for.  Now, with days before the election, Moms have filed suit once again, this time against No on 522, the organization working to prevent labeling of GMOs.

This week on Food And Travel Nation we spoke to Knoll Lowney, attorney for Moms for Labeling about this case.

CLICK HERE to listen.

Just as happened in California, political advertisements from those opposed to labeling efforts are swaying undecided voters in Washington, and polls show a very close race.  Food And Travel Nation Network urges a YES vote on “I 522” and we will provide updates.

About elizabethd

Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations. Food And Travel Nation has won two news awards for content. Broadcasting LIVE each week, nationwide, on and stations around the country.

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