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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 10, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Initiative 522: we deserve to know what we’re eating

Labeling GMOs adds no extra cost to the farmer

I am farmer in northeast Washington. I raise a variety of vegetables, berries and tree fruit. [“I-522: One big player sang a different tune in Britain,” page one, Oct. 9].

I am fully in favor of I-522. I don’t raise any GMO crops, nor do any of the other farmers in this area to my knowledge. So who does? The big agri-corporate operations, that’s who.

What are they afraid of? If the products they raise and sell are so healthful and nutritious, and GMO foods are so beneficial to the consumer and farmer, they should be proud to lable the products that contain GMOs. But they aren’t. In fact, the various chemical, biotech companies and food processors are spending millions of dollars to keep you and me from knowing what’s in our food. What do they know about the food that they don’t want you to know?

The opponents of I-522 talk about the additional costs to farmers and the public. As a farmer who sells both wholesale and directly to the consumer, let me tell you, the cost to me would be so insignificant it would not be worth passing on. In direct sales, it would amount to one short line on a label or sign. After all of the other expenses, the cost of that line would be trivial.

In wholesale sales, there would be no extra cost to the farmer, as only the final retail sale would be labeled. As for the wholesale processor, look on the side of any food package — after the “nutritional information” panel, the ingredient list and the allergen list — how much more would it cost to add “this product contains GMOs?” A fraction of a penny!

The simple fact is that the aforementioned companies simply don’t want you know what’s in your food. Nobody should be able to tell you that you don’t deserve to know what you’re eating.

Tom Harrison, Colville

0 Comments | More in Food/nutrition | Topics: I-522, initiative 522

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