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Monsanto bets $5M in Wash. State fight over altered food

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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

By Bloomberg News

SEATTLE — Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co., among the biggest makers of bioengineered crop seeds, are persuading Washington state voters to change their minds about a proposal to require labels on genetically modified food.

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The companies are backing an antilabeling campaign with $18.1 million — twice that of advocates for a ballot measure next month. The labeling proposal had a 45 percentage-point lead among registered voters five weeks ago that has narrowed to 4 points since opponents began advertising, the independent Elway Poll showed Oct. 21.

“This is a David and Goliath fight,” said Trudy Bialic, a spokeswoman for PCC Natural Markets based in Seattle. Store shelves are lined with tags — “Non-GMO Project verified product” — on products from canola oil to granola bars, to reassure those who fear or distrust genetically modified organisms. “There’s no way we can compete with the resources of Monsanto, Dow and DuPont.”

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