Read I-522 carefully, then reject it
I-522 appears consumer friendly, but we should reject it as unreasonable for Washington. We need national solutions.
The bill would coerce Washington into being the first state to experiment with a punitive labeling bill on GE and wouldn’t protect local crops. Passage might please people complaining about corporate giants such as Monsanto, but wouldn’t help us know what’s in our food.
A large majority of farmer and business organizations oppose I-522.
Read the act. The highly technical definitions of GE and the exceptions confused me. I have sat on juries and I couldn’t reliably decide whether or not food should be labeled GE.
The bill’s language freezes current scientific language that our cash-strapped State should constantly upgrade in an age of rapid scientific change. How could our state regulatory body and over-burdened legislature keep pace with world-wide changes in food processing? It’s a fool’s errand.
Read the long list of state farm and business organizations that oppose the bill, including our Chelan/Douglas County Farm Bureau. They’re not malevolent, giant corporations. They’re our local farmers and friends.
The bill’s punitive labeling is designed to intimidate consumers against a theoretical hazard of GE foods that the FDA and food scientists say is nonexistent. Organic food businesses helped write the label to frighten customers into buying organic foods.
The punitive label is the opposite U.S. FDA regulations permitting producers to label products organic according to national standards.
Proponents, create a system where you’d pay for applications to receive national FDA permits to label food non-GE and promote the label to convince Washingtonians they’re worth the higher price instead of penalizing local growers, food producers, consumers and taxpayers.
Vote no on I-522. It mandates a confusing, misleading, regulated, costly punitive label designed by special interests for no justifiable scientific reason.
What’s the harm in a label?
Agriculture is a huge industry in our state, contributing billions to our side of the U.S. balance of trade. Washington has a reputation world wide for growing good food. Why would we risk it all to let Monsanto conceal their genetically engineered wheat and corn in our honestly grown grains? If their product is so good, why spend millions to keep it from being identified?
Here’s why: our trading partners, including Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union have banned genetically engineered foods or imposed limits of 1% GE in any product.
Voters must think for themselves now, more than at any other time. Please notice that every slick brochure, every “farmer” that speaks against GE labeling, says it will cost “$450 more a year” for groceries if labeling goes into effect. How, if keeping records of what seed you are growing is so difficult, did they all arrive at exactly $450 per year? Because it’s a fake fact from a scripted message aimed to get you to vote against your own right to know what you are eating and your state’s best interest.
If genetically engineered food is better, why does Monsanto want to hide it? It’s a patented system, you plant their seed and tanker trucks come through occasionally to drench the fields with herbicide, Monsanto’s Roundup, which their genetically engineered and patented plants withstand. What are the long-term effects on the consumer and the land? Let’s watch and see, and we can do that best by keeping it separate and identified.
Now you know how I’m voting, and I hope you will really think this one through and join us. Please vote YES on 522.
Ed and Wendy Isenhart