Thursday, March 21, 2013

GE-Free Spring Summit Builds Eastside Support for Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods


Bellevue, Wash.—As part of Food & Water Watch’s national campaign to make the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food mandatory, citizens across the Eastside will attend the GE-Free Spring Summit this Saturday, March 23, to learn the facts about GE food and how they can get involved with the campaign to pass the Washington ballot initiative, I-522.

Although the vote is still months away, the issue of genetically engineered foods has already become a hot topic in Washington, fueled by the initiative’s official qualification in February and recent developments such as Whole Foods’ announcement to require labeling in their stores by 2018. Taking a lesson from California, Washington voters know they will soon be bombarded with ads paid for by Monsanto and other large agribusiness corporations trying to mislead them about I-522, the ballot initiative that will require the labeling of GE food. Voters are starting early this year to arm themselves with the facts and get involved with the ballot initiative process.

What: Saturday’s GE-Free Spring Summit hosted by Food & Water Watch is an opportunity for Eastside community members to learn more about the issue of GE foods as well as the movement to label them in Washington.

Who: Speakers include George Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch discussing GE foods’ impact on farmers, Philip Lee of Readers to Eaters focusing on food literacy, April Rose of OptimizeU addressing the health concerns of GE foods, and Rev. Marian Stewart of Northlake Unitarian Church offering insights from the successful passage of the gay marriage ballot initiative that we can apply to I-522. Organic retailers, farmers, nutritionists, and local representatives from Food & Water Watch’s Let Me Decide campaign will also be on hand to educate and answer questions.

Where: The Summit will be hosted at East Shore Unitarian Church’s Spring Hall (12700 SE 32nd St, Bellevue WA 98005).

When: Saturday, March 23. The event will begin at 11 AM and the speakers will start at 12 PM.

Interviews available: Katie Siegner, Eastside field organizer with Food & Water Watch is available to provide comment and additional background on the campaign. Speakers will also be available for interviews, and there will be time for a Q&A from reporters and the audience.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control. Food and Watch Watch Washington

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