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.