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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Labeling genetically modified foods in Washington

An imperfect solution to an imperfect dilemma

An ear of genetically altered corn waits to be harvested in Illinois.[Scott Olson/Getty Images.]

An ear of genetically altered corn waits to be harvested in Illinois.[Scott Olson/Getty Images.]

Initiative 522 is not perfect. [“On voters’ plates: genetically engineered crops,” page one, Aug. 11.]

However, it is not a perfect world. In a perfect world, federal law would not permit Monsanto to sue for patent infringement for the spread of patented genes that they are making no efforts to contain.

In a perfect world, the effects of genetically modified crops on other crops, farm animals and surrounding wildlife would be taken into account before approving them for market.

In a perfect world, safety testing on genetically modified organisms would include all anticipated uses, whether the products are meant for human or animal consumption, or for compost.

In a perfect world, we could anticipate all the ramifications of genetic modifications for generations to come before we bring crops to market.

And yes, in a perfect world, not all genetically engineered foods would be lumped together in the same basket. But, in a perfect world, it would be much easier to separate the safe and ethical products from the unsafe and unethical.

Initiative 522 is a start — and remember, the initiative is about labeling, not prohibiting. It gives both the consumers and the people producing and distributing foods choices about how to go forward, and what Washingtonian can’t support choice?

Monica Zipp, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Environment, Politics, Seattle | Topics: foods, genetically engineered crops, genetically-modified organism

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