27 Oct 2013 - Washington State - Please Vote NO for Initiative 522

It was just a year ago when California voters soundly defeated Proposition 37. That was the proposition that would have required the labeling of food containing any GMO ingredients. Next up on the ballot. . . Washington state. You know how I feel about GMO labeling; I don’t think it’s necessary because concerned consumers can assure they will not get GMO’s if they buy all of their food at organic food stores.

I subscribe to what the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, told me earlier this year when he said. . . “There are two reasons for putting labels on food. Number one, to list the ingredients; Number two, to list a danger. So far, science has not proven any danger in consuming GMO foods.”

I am always looking for other people who share my feeling and a few days ago I found strong support in an editorial appearing in Capital AG Press in the West. The headline of the editorial . . . “GMO Labels Would Waste Consumers Money”.

The opening line . . . “Slapping GMO labels on some of the food Washington state residents eat, as would be required under Washington state Initiative 522, will cost money, and lots of it.” The editorial then goes on to say “We believe labels aren’t the ultimate intent of anti-GMO activists. They want all genetically modified food off the shelves of supermarkets, not just in Washington state but everywhere. They cite the Precautionary Principle as license to ban anything of which they are skeptical. The principle says that anything that can’t be proven safe should be banned. By that line of reasoning, virtually everything should be banned, including electricity, cars and nearly every other modern convenience.

“Yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the USDA have found food having GMO ingredients to have the same qualities and characteristics as non-GMO food. Opponents can’t point to any damage caused by growing GMO foods. In fact, GMO crops are bred to require less pesticides, fertilizers and water.”

The editorial concludes “For consumers and taxpayers who are on a budget, the cost of additional labels on their food is a huge issue. There is no doubt GMO labels would cost Washington shoppers. How much, we don’t know. But if it’s a penny, it’s too much.”

Thank you Capital AG Press and I hope the Washington voters will remember these points when they go to the polls, and vote NO on Initiative 522.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.