Still wants change to food labels

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 13, 2013 

I believe Washington voters have spoken on I-522: "We don't really care what we put in our mouths." Why? If you believed the ads, we were going to see a big increase in food prices. Really? No one ever said how much, or why, prices would increase. Two studies from big agribusiness prior to California's vote on genetically modified organisms last year claimed that food producers would be forced to start using non-GM or organic foods to avoid having to put labels on foods that might scare people, thereby making food more expensive. Food would cost more not because changing labels is expensive -- it isn't, food manufacturers do it all the time -- but because the companies would substitute more expensive, non-GMO ingredients. But any first-year economics student knows that when you create demand in any market, the prices of those commodities eventually go down. Aside from the GMOs are unsafe vs. GMOs are safe argument, more important is that consumers need access to information in order to make informed decisions regarding which agricultural practices they want to support with their buying decisions. I, for one, would support more sustainable practices. Personally, I don't mind if farmers modify plants like they've been doing for centuries. But if some scientist wants to put a bovine gene into a tomato, I want to know about it. I feel this issue is not settled. Label food and let the people decide.

Kevin Leja

Bellingham

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