As a farmer, I take pride in producing safe, wholesome food. Voters need to be aware that Initiative 522, a measure on labeling food, is not what the promoters claim. Sure, everyone should be aware of where their food comes from and what they are eating, but tactics aimed to scare consumers into thinking that there is something unsafe or unhealthy about genetically engineered foods is just plain wrong.
The American Medical Association and the National Academy of Sciences have found no justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods. As a matter of fact, genetic engineering is far more precise and product-tested than conventional plant-breeding techniques. At its core, I-522 is an attack on modern science and agriculture.
I-522 would create more state bureaucracy, impose new costs and burdens on local farmers and food processors, and increase grocery prices for Washington families. I-522 is inconsistent because it exempts all food in restaurants, schools and hospitals from the new labeling requirements. Cow’s milk, cheese and meat from animals fed genetically engineered foods would all be exempt.
I-522 isn’t going to give consumers accurate information about what’s in our food. It is misleading and costly. Please join me in voting no.