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article imageOp-Ed: Consumer groups document $45 million deception against Prop 37

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By Anne Sewell     Nov 2, 2012 in Food
Oakland - Amid allegations of fraud by the No on 37 campaign, the US Department of Justice refers a complaint to the FDA about alleged fraudulent use of its seal in No on 37 campaign fliers, opposing GMO labeling in California.
Digital Journal reported on October 18 about the latest in a line of misrepresentations and possible fraud, and that California Right to Know was calling for a criminal investigation of No on 37 for misuse of the FDA Seal and a fabricated FDA quote, all in opposition to the labeling of GMOs.
An agent from the FBI Sacramento field office contacted Yes on Proposition 37 legal representative Joe Sandler on Thursday to follow up on the formal complaint about the potentially criminal use of the FDA’s name, official seal and authority by opponents of Prop 37.
On Friday, leading consumer groups revealed a long list of documented deceptions by the No on 37 campaign. These include the blatant misrepresentation of the position of leading science, professional, academic organizations and government agencies on the subject of Proposition 37.
Misrepresentation of FDA on mailer.
Misrepresentation of FDA on mailer.
Screen capture
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A copy of the complaint to Department of Justice can be viewed here and the alleged fraudulent No on 37 campaign mailer can be seen here with a close up of the section of the mailer pictured to the right.
On Friday, the US Attorney's Office spoke with Sandler and indicated that they have not yet made any determination to open a formal criminal investigation, but that they have made a decision to refer the matter to the FDA. The Attorney's Office today put out a statement saying that the office does not have a "pending" investigation.
Sandler said, “We were informed they felt they needed to issue the statement in order to avoid appearing to take sides in a political campaign." Press reports indicate that the FDA is neither confirming nor denying the existence of their own investigation.
Stacy Malkan, spokesperson for the Yes on 37 campaign said, “As our complaint to the Department of Justice documents, the No on 37 campaign clearly misrepresented the FDA’s position and used the FDA logo in campaign propaganda, and an FBI agent called our attorney to say they are looking into it.”
“This is serious enough and goes well beyond the regular dirty tricks that it appears to be a criminal violation, and that’s why we filed the complaint," Malkan said. “But this is just one of a long line of documented deceptions of a $45 million campaign of deception that is being waged on California voters."
The list of No on 37 deceptions include the following:
Making demonstrably false statements in the official California Voter Guide, misrepresenting the World Health Organization, National Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Fabricating quote from US Food and Drug Administration about Prop 37, attaching FDA's logo and mailing it to voters in possible violation of federal law. FDA confirmed to KPBS on Oct. 19 that they "never made such statements with respect to Prop 37."
Misrepresenting Stanford University, repeatedly, as well as many other groups.
See documented deceptions here: http://www.carighttoknow.org/documented_deceptions
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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