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Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Initiative 522

Can't let big biz dictate on food

Regarding the glossy flier that many of us received recently in the mail urging us to vote no on I-522: Note the fine print on the bottom that lists the five major contributors. They are Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, GMA and Bayer Cropscience. As of Tuesday, a total of $17,168,234.20 has been raised by these giants. The companies that care about us, Dr. Bronner, Nature's Path, PCC markets, Sno-Isle Co-op and the people of our state have raised $6,323,812.10.
It's scary, but not surprising that these mega-corporations seek to control what is in our food without a clear label. Why don't they want us to know that they inject their seeds with DNA from foreign species -- animals, other plants, bacteria and viruses? Why don't they want us to know that these crops, by being genetically engineered, are Round-Up Ready and can be sprayed with toxic chemicals? Perhaps they fear we would not buy their products if they were forced to label such food.
Food companies do not hesitate to label their products as "Fat Free!" "Gluten Free!" or "Low Salt!" or "Non-GMO!" Then why are products that contain GMO (genetically modified organisms) or GE (genetically engineered) not also labeled as "Contains GE Corn!" soy, canola or wheat? Most likely because consumers would think twice before buying them. Better to be sneaky and hope we don't think about it.
Yes on I-522 is not suggesting that genetically engineered food be banned, only that it be labeled as such so consumers can choose. Opponents say labeling would cost consumers hundreds of dollars per year. What? Washington state took the lead in requiring labeling of farm-raised salmon or wild-caught salmon. We can be leaders once again and join the 64 other countries that require GMO food to be labeled as such. Vote yes on 522.
Mary Belshaw
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Herald Editorial Board

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