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Sat., Nov. 23, 2013

Different I-522 lesson

Voters recently rejected Initiative 522, which would have required labeling of genetically engineered foods. On Nov. 6, The Spokesman-Review reporter Jim Camden wrote, “Washington voters signaled that they are leery of requiring labels on genetically modified foods. …”

I believe Camden is seriously misinformed.

The failure of voters to approve I-522 really means that elections are for sale to the highest bidder. Monsanto, the giant chemical company that produced DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange, now makes genetically modified foods (GMOs). Monsanto and other companies that produce GMOs spent $33 million to defeat this measure, while proponents raised a paltry $9 million.

Apparently, most voters are low-information (or no-information) and are unable to make an educated decision. Instead, they vote based completely on television or radio ads.

Many voters mistakenly believe that the process of producing hybrids and making genetically engineered foods are the same. They are not. Even a sixth-grader should be able to grasp the difference between them. Public schools must not be teaching even the most basic science to students.

The very core of democracy is an informed and educated electorate. It is clear that we are failing in this regard.

Cheryl Mitchell


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