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Pasco Chamber Votes to Oppose Plan to Label Genetic Food

Pasco Chamber board opposes genetic food lableing bill
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

I-522 is a hot-button issue among supporters and opponents of companies like Monsanto.

Being advanced heavily by the organic food industry, I-522 would require all foods that are genetically-altered and sold in stores to be so labeled by 2015.

Currently, dozens of foods including corn, some wheat, vegetables and fruit have been genetically-altered, largely to make them more resistant to disease and even pests.    Defenders of the practice say that unless you consume an entirely organic diet, much of what we consumer on a daily basis has been genetically altered in at least a small way.

The Pasco Chamber Board voted to reject and oppose I-522, which if passed by the legislature during this latest session, will go before voters in November.

The Chamber released the following statement Wednesday:

I-522 would mandate special food labeling regulations in Washington that don’t exist in any other state. These Washington-only regulations would unfairly hurt Washington farmers, food producers and grocers; create more state bureaucracy, costing taxpayers millions; and increase food prices paid by Washington families. ‘This initiative, if enacted, would impact our area by creating an economic disadvantage when compared to our neighboring states,’ said Colin Hastings, executive director of the Pasco Chamber. ‘Companies looking to expand or relocate agriculture facilities in our area would likely be dissuaded by another level of regulation found here in Washington State.’ Moreover, I-522 is full of arbitrary special interest exemptions that would not give consumers a reliable way of knowing which foods contain GE ingredients and which don’t.”

The noted political website WestSeattleBlog.com provides an interesting interview with one of the supporters of the initiative. A similar plan, Proposition 37, was defeated in California not long ago.

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