Backing I-522 for food labels

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 28, 2013 

I don't know all the details about Initiative 522, which addresses food labeling of genetically modified organism products. Initially I favored it - I couldn't see the problem with keeping people informed about the food they eat, and the opponents of the initiative were suspect in my mind because so much of their support came from big out-of-state corporations and lobbying groups, who mostly said it would increase food prices. I believe the issues are more complicated than opponents admit, but the clincher for me was when it came out that the Grocery Manufacturers Association shielded the identities of anti-522 contributors, in violation of Washington state election laws. If intentional, that means the association is deceptive. Of course, they said they weren't aware of the public disclosure law, but if that's the case, doesn't that make them incompetent? They're a lobbying group - they're paid to know those things. So in the end, I don't know exactly how much truth there is in the statements opposing 522, but I don't need to know more, because I'm not about to follow the advice of people who I believe are either deceptive or incompetent. I'm therefore voting for Initiative 522. If people want more info and alternative opinions that are more nuanced than what's offered by lobbyists, consider the expert opinions on the websites of the Union of Concerned Scientists or the Center for Food Safety.

Tim Baker

Bellingham

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