There are only a few weeks left until Washington voters decide whether to pass initiative 522 or not. That is the initiative in favor of labeling GMO foods as such. There are ads running on TV and the radio for and against the proposal. So far, the opposition is spending at least twice as much due to opulent funding from companies like Monsanto.
Let’s back up for a moment though. In case you don’t know, GMO means genetically modified organism. The type of organism we’re talking about is that of the DNA of seeds. The most common are “Round-up resistant” seeds which generally do not die when sprayed with the pesticide Round-Up. Almost all the other bugs and weeds are killed off. There are no long-term studies to attest to the safety of consuming GMO foods.
I don’t know for sure, but how could it possibly be that none of the many douses of pesticide sprayed on the plant get absorbed into the soil? In turn, wouldn’t it seem logical that the plant absorbs some from the soil and some through the leaves? Again, in turn, we eat those crops. Um…I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat crops that have soaked up round after round of sprayed-on pesticides. How could it be safe at all?
Initiative 522 seems like the answer. “Just label it.” It would benefit the consumer and “draws support from farmers, fishing families, health professionals, moms and dads, business owners and consumer advocates who believe that Washington shoppers should have the right to know what is in our food. We are motivated by a very simple principle: people have the right to know what’s in the food they eat and feed their families.”
Voting yes would give Washington citizens more control over the foods they buy and put in their bodies. Even baby foods are now full of GMO ingredients. The most common GMO crops are corn and soy. If you look closely, many foods contain corn in one form or another. High fructose corn syrup is one of the main culprits.
In response to the claim that 522 would raise the price of food because manufacturers would have to re-label, that is false. Food manufacturers re-label food packaging all the time at little cost to them.
Yet, meat and dairy from animals that ate GMO crops would not have to be labeled. The reason for that is because that is the global labeling standard. Also, adopting laws stricter than the global ones could hurt farmers and food producers economically.
The fact of the matter is 64 other countries around the world are already required to label genetically engineered food. Among those countries are Japan, Australia and India. Why are we the last to adopt this sensible legislation?
If you care about what’s in the food you eat, consider your vote come voting day.