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Prominent Washington State Newspapers Urge NO on Initiative 522

October 23, 2013
The Seattle Times, The Columbian, The News Tribune and The Daily Herald are just a few of Washington state’s leading publications urging voters to check no on the upcoming state ballot Initiative 522, requiring labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs), seeds and seed products sold in Washington.

With the voting on ballot Initiative 522 nearing a close, the Vote No on 522 site did a wonderful job of compiling top quotes of notable Washington state publications urging “no” on I-522.

The Daily Herald in their editorial, “A reluctant no to I-522,” had this to say,
“… [L]abeling needs to be done the right way, and I-522 falls short. Should citizens let the perfect be the enemy of the good? That’s up to Washington’s David-oriented voters. With I-522, the perfect is the enemy of the middling.”

The Columbian’s editorial, “Vote No on Initiative 522,” stated
“Initiative 522 is a clumsy, clunky effort… contains too many inconsistencies to warrant support… undermines supporters’ arguments about the public’s right to know.”

The editorial, “Reject Initiative 522,” published by the Tri-City Herald, quoted
“I- 522 is ‘a costly and burdensome measure with no demonstrable benefits’”

 The Longview Daily News argued in its editorial, “I-522 won’t make your food any safer,”
“…To our ears, and to the ears of many others, I-522 seems like more of an effort to scare consumers away from foods containing GMOs than to direct them toward healthier alternatives.”

Seattle Times’ editor Brice Ramsey published a noteworthy op-ed titled, “Science, GMOs and Initiative 522.”  Here, he makes a sound argument that if the roles were reversed, organic food producers would push back against a ballot initiative requiring labeling of organic foods to read “this product was made from plants grown in animal waste.”
“The 522 campaign says its measure is not anti-GM; it is about choice. This is disingenuous. The backers want you to choose not to buy GM foods. And if you oppose their label, they accuse you of being against choice.

“Try this hypothetical. Imagine a ballot measure mandating that organic food grown in manure be labeled, “This product was made from plants grown in animal waste.” Imagine that this had to be on the front of the box.  No doubt the organic food producers would call such a proposal prejudicial and unfair, and they would be right. What would the measure’s supporters say? “What are you trying to hide? You want to keep the public in the dark? Don’t people have the right to make an informed choice about their food?”

That’s what I’m hearing now.

“Choice is good. But labels mandated by law should be useful to protect the public health. And they should be fair. Probably they should not be devised by one part of an industry against another.

“And that’s what Initiative 522 looks and feels like. It’s PCC Natural Markets and Whole Foods against the Grocery Manufacturers Association. It’s Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps against Bayer Crop Science. And to scientists like Moehs, who work on products that could benefit people, it also feels like an attack on their work.”

Visit here, to read additional leading Washington state newspapers urging citizens to vote no on I-522.