(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Grocery Manufacturers Association released the following statement on the ruling in Washington State:
“GMA believes that there is no basis in law or fact to support this unprecedented, inequitable and clearly excessive penalty – nearly 18 times higher than any other Washington State public disclosure fine. The court’s decision ignores uncontradicted testimony and uncontroverted evidence that GMA reasonably believed, after being advised by multiple outside attorneys, that it was complying at all times with Washington State law. GMA’s decision to disclose the association itself, rather that its members, as a contributor to the “No on 522” campaign in 2013 was at most an inadvertent technical violation of the State’s vague and complex disclosure law that was being handled as a routine matter by the Public Disclosure Commission until Attorney General Ferguson seized control shortly before the 2013 election to further his personal political ambitions. Attorney General Ferguson’s continuing crusade against GMA has been a centerpiece of his fundraising appeals and re-election effort. GMA intends to vigorously pursue its legal options to correct this injustice.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry has facilities in 30,000 communities, generates $1 trillion in sales annually, contributes $415 billion in added value to the economy every year and is the single largest U.S. manufacturing industry with 1.7 million manufacturing workers. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives.