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Washington attorney general seeks food industry penalty

REGION

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state’s attorney general said Tuesday he will still seek penalties against a food industry group that recently identified donors who contributed money to oppose a food labeling initiative.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson will move ahead with a lawsuit filed last week against the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Ferguson has accused the group of improperly collecting the cash in a manner that shielded the identities of the companies to protect them from scrutiny.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has since identified about three dozen companies that contributed a combined $7.2 million to help defeat Initiative 522, which would require labeling on genetically modified foods in Washington state.

Ferguson said in a statement that the case involved concealing a record-setting amount of contributions and there must be sanctions for violating the law.

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