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Beware of image campaign

More than 2 million households received a four-page No-522 brochure with vintage tractor and weary farmer against amber sunset this week. Nice backdrop for caption “I-522 would unfairly hurt Washington farmers.” It was a crafty image, though hardly depicting today’s industrial farming. Image consultants likely picked the photo. Did it work, you big softy?

Initiative 522 is about consumer labeling of products grown using genetically modified organisms. In corn seed, for example, there’s a pesticide recipe intended to combat a worm. But over time the worm developed resistance to the recipe, now requiring application of more pesticide. Not good for consumer (toxins) or for the farmer (time and costs).

Just where’s the tipping point with ingestion of these chemicals? You can be a test monkey if I-522 fails.

Magnification of the brochure reveals four of the top five bankrolling the No-522 campaign are the makers of the GMO seed (Monsanto), and herbicide and pesticide companies Bayer, Dow and DuPont.

All I-522 asks is that those who use GMO seeds disclose it on their packaging. It’s not a complete redesign of the label, but that’s what they’d have you believe.

By now we should know who to trust in these things. It’s not the corporations.

Susan Hobbs

Ione, Wash.


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.