By: Jim Brunner

A food-industry group tried to shield identities of major corporations that spent $11 million to defeat a 2013 food-labeling initiative in what Attorney General Bob Ferguson argues is among the worst cases of concealment in state history.

Newly unsealed documents shed further light on a food-industry trade group’s efforts to shield the identity of corporate donors who poured $11 million into a campaign to defeat a 2013 food-labeling initiative in Washington.

In a filing ahead of a key Friday court hearing, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson accused the Grocery Manufacturers Association of an “egregious” plot to evade campaign-disclosure laws that ranks “among the worst in state history.”

“It was a detailed scheme over many months to purposely, in their words, shield their donors from public scrutiny, and that’s not OK,” Ferguson said in an interview.

GMA rejected the accusations, saying it never intended to break state law. In court briefs and a statement, the group criticized Ferguson’s lawsuit as “based on a one-sided misportrayal of the facts” and called the state’s disclosure law “hopelessly vague.”

Originally Published: The Seattle Times