From a recent article featuring Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman:
Of course, there can be some tension, as when Coca-Cola recently campaigned against a measure in California to force companies to label genetically modified ingredients. Honest Tea favors transparency in labeling.
Goldman says that “after internal discussions,” Coca-Cola will not be directly lobbying against a similar effort in the state of Washington, although it is a funder of trade associations arguing against the labeling.
Seriously? So what’s the difference between Coca-Cola, owner of the Honest Tea brand, “directly” lobbying against Washington State’s I-522 ballot initiative to label GMOs, as opposed to “indirectly” lobbying against I-522 through hidden donations to the NO on I-522 campaign? Donations the junk food giant is funneling through the Grocery Manufacturers Association?
Last year the GMA plunked down $2 million to defeat a GMO labeling initiative in California. This year, in Washington State, where experts agree it will take far less money to saturate the airwaves than it took in California, the GMA has so far donated $7.2 million to the NO on I-522 campaign. Why so much more? Because the GMA did a special assessment to raise money from companies like Coca-Cola, who don’t want the bad publicity they got last year when their donations to the No on 37 campaign were made public.
Let’s be honest, Mr. Goldman. Just because Coca-Cola is hiding behind the GMA’s skirts, doesn’t mean the junk food giant isn’t lobbying against I-522 in Washington State. If Honest Tea wants to take a real stand for consumers, you and your company will donate much-needed money to win the GMO labeling battle in Washington State.