In June 2018, Ethical Consumer viewed a report on the Environmental Working Group’s website, which had been published in February 2016, and looked at lobbying by companies opposed to GMO labelling laws.
The report stated that “Big food, farm and biotechnology companies and trade associations working to prevent labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients reported spending $101.4 million on lobbying last year.”
The report looked at the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, a trade group that represents food manufacturers, as well as specific companies. It stated that the GMA filed disclosures reporting $10.5 million in lobbying expenditures in 2015 for the anti-labelling battle and other GMA legislative priorities. It also stated that since January 2014 the GMA had hired 34 lobbyists and spent $2.8 million on lobbying that went exclusively to advocate anti-GMO-labelling legislation.
The report also discussed the DARK Act, which had passed the House of Representatives and was being discussed in the Senate, in February 2016. The act would bar states from enacting laws to require GMO labelling and make it harder for companies to make voluntary GMO disclosures. The Act had been passed in August 2016.
The report stated that 9 out of 10 Americans supported GMO labelling laws, and some 64 other nations had imposed them.
Nestlé Purina PetCare was said to have spent $120,000 on lobbying between in 2014, and Nestlé USA $1,500,000 in 2015. Nestlé therefore lost half a mark under both Political Activities and Controversial Technologies.