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A Closer Look at I-522

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By Roxanne Reyes 

 

I just had to jump for joy when I heard the people of Washington along with some entrepreneurs and lawmakers were going to label genetically modified foods.  I thought finally the government was listening to the people, but I don’t want to listen to a bunch of commercials to influence my decision about anything.  To make a decision whether or not I want to support this measure of labeling genetically modified foods I had to dig deeper to see what this bill was all about.

Have you read the actually bill lately?  If anything you want to go to the source of what the bill involves, so I did.  I viewed the pdf file on Initiative Measure No. 522, which is on the web.  According to the bill it mentions, it’s an act relating to disclosure of foods produced through genetic engineering and penalties.  Alright, I thought brilliant someone is looking out for our welfare.  Then I got to reading further. 

If you look and read section 3 of the bill, a whole world of confusion will be going on in your head.  Hold on wait a minute!  I must have read the article five times to figure out what all this meant.  Here’s where I have a problem.  It states, “If a raw agricultural commodity or food that has been grown, raised, produced, or derived without the knowing and intentional use of genetically engineered seed or food. To be included within the exclusion under this subsection, the person supplying a raw agricultural commodity or food must provide a sworn statement that the raw agricultural commodity or food: (i) Has not been knowingly or intentionally produced through genetic engineering; and (ii) has been segregated from, and has not been knowingly or intentionally commingled with, foods that may have been genetically engineered at any time. In providing such a sworn statement, a person may rely on a sworn statement from his or her own supplier that contains such an affirmation.”

Are you guys dizzy?  So basically all raw fruits and vegetables that are derived from genetically modified seed are excused just as long as you claim you didn’t know where it came from.  Just provide a sworn statement that the commodity, which was grown from a genetically engineered seed was not to your knowledge then you’re saved from the bell.  With that being said, many questions run through my mind.  Is this a way out for crooked agriculture businesses?  Doesn’t it make sense to label every kind of genetically engineered food? How are consumers protected in passing this bill?  Does this really guarantee my rights and health will be protected as an individual? 

Is meat and dairy going to be labeled?

No, the meat and dairy coming from animals that ate only genetically engineered crops are not obligated to do so.  According to the Yes on I-522 Committee, It wouldn’t make economic sense for Washington to be stricter than global standards, because that could have an adverse economic impact on our farmers and food producers.

As a consumer, I was appalled about how misguided I was and how many people are led to think someone was looking out for our benefit.  Looking into the facts of this measure led me to believe on how economics were more important than one’s health and politics was always in the game of everything.

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