I-522 GMO Labeling Initiative: Would you like Franken Fish with that?

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(Newswire.net— November 5, 2013) WA – GMO is a genetically modified organism sometimes referred to as GE for genetically engineered. It’s a process of taking genes out of one species and pushing it into another. The most popular foods for this type of genetic manipulation have been corn and soybeans- now there may be a new member joining the club- GM salmon. Yes, the salmon you enjoy from a grocery store or from your favorite restaurant may soon be genetically modified, and you won’t have any idea that you’re eating it. That is if I-522 fails to pass.


The main corporations attempting to defeat I-522 are Monsanto, General Mills, Pepsi, Coke, Kraft, and Kellog’s. Along with these corporations is the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association report “And, according to the state attorney general, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the largest donor to the NO on I-522 campaign, has illegally concealed more money than any other group ever accused of violating Washington’s campaign finance laws.”


According to the Food Democracy Action Team “After spending $46 million to defeat Prop 37 in California, these same companies are now spending $22 million to kill labeling in Washington.” Stacy Finz of the San Francisco Chronicle says “… voters rejected the proposed labeling law by six percentage points. California would have been the first state in the nation to pass such an initiative.”


So what is it that has these corporations so concerned? Simple economics- loss of revenue when consumers associate the ‘G’ word with their brand.


Nestle USA is concerned. While Nestle has some organic brands, some of their non-organic brands contain genetically engineered ingredients. If I-522 passes, they will have to label those products as containing GMO. It turns out Nestle quietly gave over $1 million to the GMA to help defeat I-522. Brad Shannon of the Olympian tells us “There were 13 donations to Grocery Manufacturers that topped $100,000 and the identity of all 34 donors would have been secret until state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit [Wednesday October 16] to force the GMA to register as a PAC and to disclose its donors.”


What else are opponents concerned about? If states such as California or Washington were to enact labeling laws, the rest of the states would follow suit in time.


I-522 is not an initiative to ban GMO foods, rather it will require those foods to be labeled as GMO.

Joseph Hannon +

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