there is a very important issue coming up on the washington ballot called I-522. it is a measure to require labels on food products that contain genetically modified ingredients. it wouldn’t be a big scary warning, like those on cigarette packs, because quite frankly we just don’t know enough yet about the long-term effects of genetically modified foods on human beings to warrant such a precaution. but it would be an informational label, similar to the ingredient label, thus enabling consumers to make informed decisions about the foods they purchase and consume.
public support here was pretty high for 522, but recently we have seen a massive media barrage warning us of dire consequences should 522 pass. ads on the radio that i have heard warn of huge lawsuits, undue expenses to consumers, and unfair burdens on companies who want to sell to buyers in washington (which will have different labeling requirements from other parts of the country). these ads are very graciously sponsored by monsanto and dow chemical, among others, so right away you know that the radar has to go up…
because whenever the big guys throw around big money, especially when it involves my ability to have information, i want to know what they have at risk. what are they protecting?
now, i could start in telling you all of the reasons i think GMOs are risky, or some of the reasons non-GMOs are better, but i prefer to let you read about that here and let you make up your own mind:
obviously these people also have a bias, so you may want to do some research on the other side as well. get a well-rounded picture of the issue. make up your own mind. but i will tell you the bottom line for me on this issue:
companies change their packaging all the time. we are constantly finding out new health information, and companies are always trying to find new ways to market to us. so the argument that requiring them to label regarding GMO content is an undue burden just doesn’t hold water with me.
ditto with saying it will generate tons of lawsuits. bureaucrats are bureaucrats and they will sit around and come up with endless legislation on minutiae regardless of whether 522 passes or not. so at least let them talk about something with substance. i would much rather have them talk about washington state cutting down on the use of GMO seed in its export crops than debating how many red-light cameras to put in my intersection. the courts are clogged with nonsense and that’s a fact. so if people have to go to court to iron out the details of 522, so be it. if that means i know what i’m buying and feeding my family then it’s a win for me. i’d rather that than lots of other things that go on in court with my tax dollars…
and if, in the end, companies really do charge a few cents more per package, but i know i am getting more pure unadulterated food, then i guess it’s a burden i will have to shoulder. i already overpay for pretty much everything in this state. i don’t know how that will shake out, but people already “vote with their pocketbooks” every time they buy food. people decide if they will buy organic or not, recyclable or not, biodegradable or not, free-range or not, grass-fed or not, imported or not, store brand or not, and on and on. so this is one more choice people will have, and i think it’s a fairly important one.
since consumers are the ones voting, and not corporations, i’m not quite sure why it wouldn’t pass, unless monsanto and crew can convince enough of us that it isn’t in our best interest to be able to make informed decisions.
and honestly, that doesn’t really work for me.
i’m hoping it doesn’t work for you either, so spread the word. even if you don’t live in washington state, you never know who knows someone who knows someone who does live here- and word travels fast in cyberspace 🙂
and a bill like this may be coming soon to a location near you, so the more foundation we can have in place the better. precedent stands on precedent, and movements are built one case at a time. so maybe I-522 will be the first step in saying that at least if our future will be genetically modified, we want to know about it (maybe so we can be free to subvert it! hahahahahaha).
knowledge is power, and it’s important that the power stays with you, where it belongs!
so, i say yes on 522-