Letter: Labeling is good for consumers

Published:

 

Some of us old timers can remember when we went to the grocery store and had a simple selection of canned food. We could choose green, red or pinto beans, etc., from several different brands. The labels were simple; then consumers began to believe they needed to know what was in that can of red beans. Companies were forced to include the ingredients. They resisted this change, as it was up to them to analyze the contents for the label. Consumers could see that, in addition to "beans," there was "water, salt, calcium chloride, calcium disodium EDTA."

Later, companies had to list the nutrition facts, serving size, servings per container. Now listed are total fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and total carbohydrate. Yes, the companies resisted supplying this information, but consumers have benefited and can make informed choices before purchasing.

Initiative 522 is being opposed by some large and wealthy companies that have an interest in not having to tell us if they are using genetically engineered products, or GMOs. They are spending millions of dollars to keep from having to disclose the information that consumers should know. They have made all sorts of charges against the initiative. They helped to defeat a similar initiative in California. Multinational corporations want to continue to keep this information from consumers.

Hugh Shuford

Vancouver