FBI Contacts Right to Know Campaign -- Details
November 4, 2012, California Right to Know Campaign
On Nov. 2, the California Right to Know campaign held a press conference about the deceptive activities of our opponents, during which we explained that the FBI had been in contact with our team to discuss a formal complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice two weeks ago. Here are the facts and the timeline of events:
Oct. 18, the Right to Know campaign filed an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice about a No on 37 advertisement that features the logo of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration beneath this direct quote: “The US Food and Drug Administration says a labeling policy like Prop 37 would be “inherently misleading.” The FDA later confirmed that they had never made such a statement about Prop 37. The FDA's quote in the mailer appears alongside other organizations that are actively opposing Prop 37.
As our letter to the Dept. of Justice makes obvious, the use of the FDA’s seal and authority for political purposes appears to be in clear violation of criminal statutes. (View the full mail piece here).
On Nov. 1, Right to Know attorney Joe Sandler received a call from an FBI agent inquiring about the details of the advertisement in question. While the U.S. Attorney's Office then issued a statement saying they do not have a “pending investigation,” it is obvious from the FBI agent’s call to the Right to Know campaign’s attorney that our complaint of alleged illegal activity is being taken seriously by all relevant agencies.
In follow up conversations, the US Attorney’s Office told the Right to Know campaign that they have referred our complaint to the FDA for further inquiry and have not yet made a determination as to whether or not they will open a formal criminal investigation.
Just as we believe that consumers have a right to know what’s in our food, we believe voters have a right to accurate information about the initiatives they will be voting on. As the evidence we presented during yesterday’s press conference clearly documents, there is no question that the opponents of Proposition 37 have repeatedly misled the voters of California in egregious ways that appear to cross even into criminal territory. We look forward to seeing whether justice will be served.