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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Labeling genetically modified foods in Washington

Priorities

Initiative 522 supporters, who want genetically modified foods to be labeled, gathered for a rally outside a Grocery Manufacturers Association meeting at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. [Mark Harrison, The Seattle Times.]

Initiative 522 supporters, who want genetically modified foods to be labeled, gathered for a rally outside a Grocery Manufacturers Association meeting at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. [Mark Harrison, The Seattle Times.]

I am definitely against the idea of putting something in my body from companies that won’t bother to tell me what was involved in the genetic alteration of their crops. [“Monsanto gives $4.6M to foes of GMO labeling,” NW Wednesday, Sept. 11.]

However, the whole point of Initiative 522 is not to ban genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods; it is to allow Washington state residents, such as myself, the ability to make an informed decision on what we want to eat.

The real issue of what is happening right now with these major companies donating money is that they do not like the idea of their products being exposed. They are willing to deprive their consumer base of a right to know what’s in their products.

While I understand most consumers who are in an uproar about this issue are organic consumers, these companies are more afraid of losing the markets of the people who are not aware of the genetic alterations involved with their products.

These people must know the reasons behind the initiative, and that these companies will do anything to convince them that the labeling law will cost more money and that their GMOs are safe. Conversely, companies are constantly changing the labeling of their products, and do we ever see a crazy price hike due to these changes? No.

In the end, it comes down to a matter of priorities. I think these major companies are trying to prevent any backlash or loss of sales due to their misguided choices of “creating” their product.

Most consumers are just trying to feed their families with the best ingredients that their money can buy.

In the end, which priority is the most ethical?

Micah Woolman, Arlington

Comments | More in Economy, Environment, Food/nutrition, Politics | Topics: food, gmo, initiative 522

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