After hearing arguments on both sides of the campaigns on I-522, I was concerned and decided to do some research on my own, to separate the emotion, and misinformation from fact.
I am voting No on I-522.
I believe this initiative is misleading us into a serious problem around how our food in Washington State would be regulated. I-522 would require arbitrary labeling for Washington only, on select products. This duplicates the FDA’s existing “non-GMO” or “organic” labeling requirement, applied nationwide. According to a recent Scientific American article, most of our processed food in the United States (around 70 percent) contains genetically modified ingredients.
Those plants have been modified to help them resist disease, use less water in droughts and a variety of other reasons to make them healthier for human consumption. Anyone who tells you that trying to re-label 70 percent of our processed foods will not cost you anything or that it is a simple thing to do is not exactly being honest. This would not only hurt our pocketbooks at the checkout line in the grocery store, but also mandate inconsistent and misleading labeling requirements on the countless farmers and food producers that would have to contend with a “Washington only” labeling requirement.
The government bureaucracy to do this in Washington State would be large and expensive, not to mention confusing because of all of the exemptions written into this initiative. That’s why I’m voting “No” on I-522.
Mark L. Doumit
Former State Senator, 19th Legislative District