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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Initiative 522

Producers can label, but no need for law

The TV spots about I-522, which would require labeling Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), are getting tiresome [GMO labeling will cost — but how much can’t be determined, page one, Oct. 10].

There is a simple solution to what some evidently perceive to be a problem. Folks who produce organic products want people to be aware, so they should label their products organic. If there are producers out there who want to distinguish themselves from others who use GMOs, they can label their products “does not contain GMOs.” Consumers can assume that products not labeled as such do contain GMOs, and if that is an issue for them, they can refrain from buying.

William Marsh, Poulsbo

Anti-GMO protesters hold banners as they march against Monsanto, in Helsinki, Saturday Oct. 12, 2013. Demonstrations against agricultural giant Monsanto are taking place around the world this weekend. (AP Photo / LEHTIKUVA / Heikki Saukkomaa)

Anti-GMO protesters hold banners as they march against Monsanto, in Helsinki, Saturday Oct. 12, 2013. Demonstrations against agricultural giant Monsanto are taking place around the world this weekend. (AP Photo / LEHTIKUVA / Heikki Saukkomaa)

Initiative has benefits for exports

I was dismayed to see your editorial board advising voters to vote against I-522 [“Editorial: Vote No on Initiative 522, the GMO labeling initiative,” opinion, Oct. 5]. The labels on foods with GMOs in them will not increase the cost significantly. Food processors and manufacturers change labels all the time without increasing costs.

There is a bigger business reason to support labeling, though. It is to ensure that foods produced in America have a clear path to the market. Earlier this year, Japan blocked American wheat when it discovered that a single shipment contained GMO wheat from Oregon.

While that matter was eventually resolved, it’s clear that labeling foods before they hit the market will protect both agribusinesses and consumers who want to wait to see the long-term health effects of GMOs in their food.

Wally Bubelis, Seattle

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

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