|A cyclist rides past a car with a figurine of a soybean crossed with a fish on top of of it in front of a Whole Foods Market in downtown Seattle, on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. The vehicle was promoting a Yes vote on Initiative 522, which would require the labeling of food that contains genetically modified ingredients. I-522 supporters say consumers have the right to know what's in the food they buy, while opponents say the measure would lead to higher food costs. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)|
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An industry group that contributed heavily to defeat a measure that would have required labeling genetically engineered foods says it reported its activity to state watchdogs and hopes to resolve a lawsuit alleging it violated Washington's campaign finance laws.
On Wednesday, the state attorney general amended complaint against the Grocery Manufacturers Association, saying it concealed millions more dollars in campaign contributions than has previously been reported. Attorney General Bob Ferguson increased from $7.2 million to $10.6 million the amount Ferguson says the organization collected from members to oppose Initiative 522 without following the rules.
Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for GMA, says the group registered as a political committee and provided "full transparency" for its contributions. In a statement, Kennedy said the group hopes to have the lawsuit resolved quickly.
Ferguson says the group formed a political committee only after he sued.