After hearing arguments on both sides of the campaigns on Initiative 522, I decided to do some research on my own, to separate the emotion and misinformation from fact.
This initiative is misleading us into a serious problem around how our food in Washington state would be regulated. I-522 would require arbitrary labeling for Washington only, on select products. This duplicates the FDA’s existing “non-GMO” or “organic” labeling requirement, applied nationwide.
According to a recent Scientific American article, most of our processed food in the U.S. (around 70 percent) contains genetically modified ingredients. Those plants have been modified to help them resist disease, use less water in droughts and a variety of other reasons to make them healthier for human consumption. Anyone who tells you that trying to re-label 70 percent of our processed foods will not cost you anything or that it’s a simple thing to do is not being honest. This would not only hurt our pocketbooks at the grocery store, but also mandate inconsistent and misleading labeling requirements on the countless farmers and food producers who would have to contend with a “Washington only” labeling requirement.
The government bureaucracy to do this would be large and expensive, not to mention confusing because of all of the exemptions written into this initiative.
I’m voting “no” on I-522.
Mark L. Doumit