go organic (:
(CNN) — Washington was billed as the national testing ground on the issue of genetically modified foods, which draws spirited supporters and detractors into the debate over their effects on human health and the environment.
If the state’s vote tally is to be believed, it appears the Evergreen State won’t get special labeling for GMO foods, as expected before the Tuesday vote.
Those in favor of the initiative, however, say don’t count your genetically engineered chickens before they hatch, according to a news release that reads rather victoriously, considering the Washington secretary of state’s office says the measure failed 55% to 45%.
“The campaign remains confident that a majority of Washington voters support labeling of genetically engineered foods, and optimistic about supporters getting out to vote in this off-year election,” said the Yes on Initiative 522 release.
“For now, the votes are too close to call,” reads the Yes on I-522 landing page. “Over the next few days more ballots will be counted and we will keep you posted as we learn more.”
The secretary of state’s website says 100% of the vote has been counted.
The vote, if confirmed, would mark a defeat for those who say GMO foods may pose health risks and lead to a spike in herbicide and pesticide usage. The Elway Poll in October reported that Washington voters were in favor of the initiative by four percentage points.
The vote would have made Washington the third state to require GMO labeling and the first to pass an initiative that will go into effect regardless of whether other states enact similar laws.
Placed on the ballot after Washington voters submitted more than 350,000 signatures, I-522 “would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale.”
Yes on I-522 says it is “motivated by a very simple principle: People have the right to know what’s in the food they eat and feed their families.”
Sixty-four countries have passed laws allowing consumers to know when there are GMO ingredients in their food, according to the Center for Food Safety. The watchdog group says the “limited data” on GMO foods indicates that the foods lead to higher risks of “toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance and immune suppression.”
Since genetically engineered foods entered the U.S. market, herbicide use on corn, soybeans and cotton has increased by 527 million pounds, the center said, citing a study by Environmental Science Europe.
Monsanto, a Missouri-based agricultural giant that was staunchly opposed to the measure, says on its website, GMOanswers.com, that the crops have led to lower pesticide usage. The company says it’s also invested more than $100 million to ensure the products are safe.
“Humans, over our history, have altered all of our crops, often for taste or yield or disease resistance,” the website says.
“Before they reach the market, crops from GM seeds are studied extensively to make sure they are safe for people, animals and the environment,” the Monsanto site adds. “Today’s GM products are the most researched and tested agricultural products in history.”
Opponents spent more than $22 million to fight the legislation — more than triple what those in favor of labeling spent — with only $600 of that money coming from within the state. Monsanto contributed more than $5 million, the Washington Public Disclosure Commission said.
Twenty-three states have pending legislation regarding GMO labeling, according to the group Right to Know GMO. Maine andConnecticut in June passed laws requiring labeling, but they won’t go into effect until other states pass GMO-labeling laws.
California last year shot down such a law with 51.4% of voters casting ballots against it.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service approved a non-GMO label for meat and liquid egg products in June, the first time the department has approved such a label from a third party. GMO foods were approved for human consumption in 1995, but the Food and Drug Administration never required any labels pointing them out as such.
Follow Eliott C. McLaughlin on Twitter: @CNNWriters
I have several issues with this article such as the fact that monsanto claims…
“Before they reach the market, crops from GM seeds are studied extensively to make sure they are safe for people, animals and the environment,”
ummm yea sure. how about that fact that we STILL don’t know all the side effects of consuming GMOs, and the fact that we see more and more everyday that the environment is being affected in a negative way by GMOs. I also have a major issue with the whole “my state passed a GMO labeling law but the other 49 haven’t so we aren’t going to implement it” what the hell? if the people in your state want their food labeled then their food should be, it shouldn’t matter what neighboring states want.
Monsanto has been in the poison game for a long time. All the propaganda in the world can’t erase the fact that they first poisoned thousand of Vietnamese, Thai, and Koreans as well as countless American soldiers with Agent Orange, who only now receive compensation for the effects of Monsanto’s bio-warfare decades later. The proof is finally so pervasive that the company can no longer just sweep away evidence of their evil-doing.
While it was our own government who did the spraying, they colluded with Monsanto, one of the nine government contractors who made the toxic combination of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, which came to be called Agent Orange. Many people don’t know this, but after decades of research proving that Agent Orange is lethal and tens of millions of dollars paid to victims in settlements – it is still being used in many Asian countries.
The company has switched to using it’s best-selling herbicide RoundUp predominately now, yet another innocent product constructed of poisons even the most stalwart farmer would wince at should they really understand its fallout. RoundUp is made of glyphosate, the primary active ingredient and Agent Orange of our time. Even the RoundUp label warns not to get the stuff in your eyes or on your skin, and to wear gloves when handling it – so what makes it o.k. to eat?
RoundUp “ kills weeds because glyphosate (a salt compound) inhibits enzyme pathways, preventing plants from synthesizing amino acids necessary for growth. It basically stops plants from eating, so they die.” It is probable that Monsanto and other companies who use this substance under other names besides RoundUp are now dumping more than 300 million pounds of this toxic poison into our soil annually. It’s use has at least tripled since 1990.
This calls into question some of the arguments posted by anti-labeling and pro-GMO propagandists who say that “the science isn’t conclusive that GMO herbicides are dangerous.” Meanwhile, hundreds of scientists, many being former pro-GMO, are speaking up about the ineffectiveness and potential dangers surrounding GMOs. The idea is similar to how the tobacco industry lied to citizens for decades about the ill-effects of cigarettes and how they cause lung cancer, among other problems.
This is why countless people continue to rail against Monsanto. It’s why Monsanto and their nefarious crew of poison mongers (the Grocery Manufacturer’s of America) spend millions of dollars illegally to try to defeat GMO labeling bills.
The truth is that RoundUp, in the form of glyphosate, is just another product of the military industrial complex, and an evolution of Agent Orange. If we don’t wake up and fight, en masse, then Monsanto and its government connections will completely destroy our food supply and our planet.
Not really sure how our country and all the people in it have trusted such a horrible company and trusted eating food they supplied… especially after being responsible for such a deadly poison. I would love to see more and more people educate themselves and go organic so we have a fighting chance against Monsanto and getting our foods labeled!
For my final project, i am planning on creating a video on GMOs. My intent is to interview about 15 or so people on their views of GMOs. I have already interviewed about 5 people already asking them these questions.
1. do you know what GMOs are?
2. do you think that products should be labeled if they have GMO in them?
3. If companies labeled their products would you buy organic or nonGMO product?
I am wanting to collect the general publics opinions on the topic of GMOs and then provide not only a mix of the answers but also information that people should know about GMOs and finally provide places (websites) where people can learn more or work towards having a nonGMO diet