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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | I-522 deserves support, vote ‘Yes’
I am writing to encourage voters to support GMO labeling in our state by voting “Yes” on I-522. This initiative is straight-forward and is a good first step for GMO labeling.
You will likely hear attacks against I-522. It is important to know that this is an $11 million-plus effort, being led by Monsanto among others; it is not about the facts or about our health, but is about profit for these large multi-national corporations.
Attacks you’ll see include the claim that not all foods would be labeled and that decisions about this are the results of “special interests.” There are, for example, ads pointing to inconsistencies of GMO labeling for meats or pet food. But these ads are only meant to confuse people.
What is true is the initiative’s writers looked to incorporate the most common GMO guidelines so that our state law would be consistent with other states and countries; this allows agricultural producers to more freely sell their products.
Another claim you will hear is about the cost of GMO. Again, this is not based in fact; I’ve done the math and based on the state Office of Financial Management’s estimate, it would cost about 11 cents per resident per year to operate a GMO labeling program.
Another claim being made by scientists and other “experts” is that because there is no difference between GMO and non-GMO foods, labeling is not necessary. What is true is that food testing is far less stringent than that required for drugs, and the final word on the safety of many GMO foods is not yet determined.
And lest we forget, not long ago wasn’t it experts who told us that smoking, DDT, and Thalidomide were all safe?
For me, the most important aspect of this initiative is about choice and the right to be informed about how our foods are grown. Don’t let anyone take this right away from us. Please join me in voting yes on I-522.