Washington Food & Water Watch held a Day of Action today to mark their food-labeling initiative being added to November's ballot.
Initiative 522, also known as “The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act”, “would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale,” according to a news release from Brian Zylstra, spokesman for secretary of state office.
Local labeling advocates - including former county commissioner Daryl Romeyn - gathered outside of Main Market downtown today to rally support for their cause.
“Right now, I have to search for hours just to find food that is actually organic,” Alison Collins, owner of Boots Bakery & Lounge – an all-vegan eaterie – said. “I know they can say it lacks GMOs, but there is no label, and I don't know.”
Collins joined Romeyn and grass-fed cattle rancher Maurice Robinette, of Cheney, as speakers at the event. The theme of their talks – as well as the signs held by advocates – was that the “public has the right to know what they eat.”
“In the name of the almighty dollar bill, mechanization was introduced to our food-supply chain,” Romeyn said. “GMOs being put into our food was just the next step … Some like that, some don't, but we just want to know.”