vote yes on 522
In November Washington state will vote on whether genetically engineered foods and seeds, and other products containing them, should be labeled.
A winning strategy is currently being developed by Moxie Media, the Seattle firm hired to head the campaign, with input from the Yes on 522 Steering Committee and others locally and nationwide. Do you have ideas to share? Volunteer time to donate? A financial contribution to make? This landmark campaign will need all kinds of support in the next several months, and financial contributions are crucial at this phase. Please help if you can. Thank you and go 522!
To donate to the Washington State labeling campaign, go to yeson522.com.
For a brief summary of our state campaign and what’s at stake, read this Organic Consumers article.
Read original language of The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Act (I-522) here.
• I-522 would allow Washington consumers to make informed choices about nutrition for themselves and their families.
Protecting the Salmon Industry
The fishing industry is one of the economic hallmarks of the Pacific Northwest economy. Genetically engineered salmon imperil families, fishermen, and coastal communities. Purdue University and The National Academy of Sciences both cite “considerable risks” genetically engineered (also called “transgenic”) fish pose to nearby native fish populations.
• I-522 would give Washington what Alaska has already: a law that forces genetically-engineered fish to be labeled so those wishing to avoid them are given the information to do so.
Protecting Washington Exports
Washington is second only to California in organic production. Labeling GMOs would ensure the identity and integrity of Washington’s farm exports and protect trade with nations that require labeling.
• I-522 would protect Washington’s organic markets domestically and abroad.
Hands off our apples!
Washington State is the number one exporter of organic apples. The Arctic Apple (nicknamed the “botox apple”) is genetically engineered not to turn brown when sliced. The U.S. Apple Association has declared “No one is asking for this apple, and the consensus on genetically modified produce is still much too vague for the government or for the general public to feel secure.”
• I-522 would give consumers the ability to avoid apples containing GMOs and would protect organic export markets of this signature Pacific Northwest crop.
Ease of Compliance
Many U.S. companies (like Hershey’s) already meet GMO labeling laws for their overseas customers. If American producers are unable to meet labeling laws in key export nations, they risk losing significant market share. To date, 62 countries require labels on genetically-engineered food imports.
• I-522 would simply require companies to provide the same information they’re already required to provide their customers overseas.
Washington’s Yes on 522 campaign is sure to experience deliberate misinformation in the coming months from those who aspire to control the world’s food supply. Expect them to air deceptive television advertising across the state, similar to their strategy in California during Prop 37, that state’s attempt to label GMOs, which was defeated in November 2012.
No matter how difficult the road to victory, Marlene’s believes labeling of genetically modified organisms will eventually be mandated by an informed and cautious citizenry.
Please join this historic drive to protect consumer rights.
Lori Lively has edited Sound Outlook since 1996. She is Education Director at Marlene’s Market & Deli and currently serves on the steering committee for Yes on 522.