Finds I-522 costly, not necessary

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 6, 2013 

Initiative 522 is being promoted as a simple measure about labeling foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. I believe I-522 does much more harm than good, and deserves a "no" vote when we fill out our ballots this fall.

As a physician, I am concerned about what I believe to be the anti-science agenda being pushed by I-522 backers. Over 440 peer-reviewed scientific studies conducted over the past two decades - by the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other such organizations - have shown genetically engineered foods are safe and even beneficial to farmers, consumers and the environment. The American Medical Association also has concluded there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.

I-522 backers fail to mention that a new state government bureaucracy - our own FDA - would be needed to monitor the labels on countless products in every store across the state - without dedicating any money to pay for it. We can imagine where the funding will come from.

I-522 won't give consumers accurate information about what's in our food. But it will provide inconsistent and misleading labeling regulations, and will require more bureaucracy that will cost consumers and taxpayers millions.

We should vote no on I-522.

Chee Tan

Bellingham

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