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Washington state voters reject labeling of GMO foods

Posted by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM
  • 33 Replies

Washington state voters reject labeling of GMO foods
The initiative would have required labels on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients

Washington state voters on Tuesday rejected an initiative that would have required foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled.

The vote was 54.8% opposed to labeling and 45.2% in favor of it.

Had it passed, Initiative 522 would have made the state the first in the nation to require such labeling.

The initiative was the most expensive in state history, though it was largely fought by out-of-state interests.

The No on 522 campaign set a record for fundraising, bringing in $22 million in donations according to The Seattle Times. Just $550 came from Washington residents, according to the newspaper. The top five contributors were the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow AgroSciences and Bayer CropScience.

The largest donor to the pro-labeling campaign were California-based Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps and the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C. However the initiative garnered almost 30% of its funding from individuals in Washington state, the Times reported.

Food industry ads claimed that the initiative would raise food prices. Labels would mislead consumers into thinking that products that contain genetically engineered ingredients are "somehow different, unsafe or unhealthy," said Brian Kennedy of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a food industry group based in Washington, D.C.

The Yes on 522 campaigns emphasized consumers right to know what's in their food.

The Washington initiative was part of an ongoing national fight by those opposed to genetically engineered crops to push for labeling. A similar,bruising $37 million battle in California in 2012 went against labeling advocates. The final vote was 51.4% opposed and 48.6% in favor.

"Sooner or later, one of these is going to pass. It's only a matter of time. At some point the industry is going to get tired of pouring this kind of money into these campaigns," said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University.

She said she doesn't believe there's anything dangerous about genetically engineered foods but is concerned about corporate control of the food supply.

Genetically engineered crops have a gene from another plant inserted into them to give them some ability they didn't have before.

There are two common genetic modifications. One is for herbicide tolerance: Plants are given a gene that protects them from harm when a farmer sprays them with herbicides to kill weeds. The other is a gene from a soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis that allows plants to produce their own insecticide.

A huge proportion of commodity crops grown by U.S. farmers are genetically engineered: 97% of the nation's sugar beets, 93% of the soybeans, 90% of the cotton and 90% of the feed corn for animals, according to the 2013 figures from the Department of Agriculture.

About 60% of the papaya grown in the United States, all in Hawaii, has been genetically engineered to allow it to withstand the ringspot virus, which virtually wiped out papaya production in the islands in the 1980s, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.

Very small amounts of genetically engineered zucchini, yellow squash and sweet corn are also sold in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration does not require foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled because it considers them "functionally equivalent" to conventionally grown crops.

How much of our crops are genetically altered?

A large proportion of commodity crops grown by U.S. farmers are genetically engineered. Genetically engineered crops have a gene from another plant inserted into them to give them some ability they didn't have before. They have been widely adopted by farmers because they save them time and money. Here's a quick look at some of the major crops that are now modified.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/06/washington-state-voters-reject-gmo-labeing/3450705/

Infographic at the link.

by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:25 PM
3 moms liked this

Corporations have deep pockets- they get what they want-

The people be damned-

krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:27 PM
2 moms liked this

$22 million. 

Twenty two million dollars. 

22 MILLION DOLLARS. 

That number speaks worlds to me. Those corporations are pouring money into this like no ones business. And why, precisely? It's fucking ludicrous.

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:33 PM

This blows my mind. 

collectivecow
by Gold Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 10:00 PM

They do indeed. It's pretty sad that most people overlook this stuff.

Quoting krysstizzle:

$22 million. 

Twenty two million dollars. 

22 MILLION DOLLARS. 

That number speaks worlds to me. Those corporations are pouring money into this like no ones business. And why, precisely? It's fucking ludicrous.


Bonnie_
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 12:14 AM
1 mom liked this

It's  wonder  those folks  don't  die of suffocation  they  have  their heads  so far up their asses.    Honestly  I thought Washington  was  supposed  to  be  one of the more  progressive  states!   What a bunch of loser morons.

Koltie6
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Sad! Money means more than peoples lives. Buy organic to avoid GMO. The more people who do this the more affordable it will become. Also, when you buy conventional you are lining Monsanto and others pockets.
KiKi-Love
by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 8:45 AM
Well we, American residents pay for these foods. We should see what we pay for. GMOs not dangerous, I call BS. What about the possibility of cancer & allergies etc. I just don't trust them, and want to know what I pay for.
tanyainmizzou
by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM
1 mom liked this

Simply label your product as not containing GMO's. Make the change to your product.

You want things given to the voters then complain when the voters don't vote the way you want

Raintree
by Ruby Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 8:58 AM
1 mom liked this

Freedom! Liberty!

Unless you want to know what you're eating, then shut the fuck up and do as you're told.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this

 I think the amount of money spent by folks like Monsanto speaks volumes.  WHY was so much spent to keep a lid on it?  I do believe the ladies on here are smart enough to have a pretty damned good idea why.

Everyone that can should have a garden, even if it is just lettuce and tomatoes.

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