Saturday, April 6, 2013

Petition to label GMO foods left for voters’ decision

Washington voters will likely have a say this fall on whether or not genetically modified foods sold in the state should be labeled as such.

I-522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” would require foods produced with genetic engineering (or containing GMOs) to carry visible labels, with some exceptions. Secretary of State Kim Wyman certified the petition — one of two petitions to the Legislature this year — in early February.

Lawmakers had the choice of passing it as is, sending it to the ballot along with their own alternative so voters could choose one, or taking no action. The Legislature held hearings but chose not to act, which means the next step for supporters is to send the measure to the ballot for a public vote in November.

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are seeds, plants, animals, fish as well as micro-organisms whose genetic material, or DNA, has been altered artificially. According to I-522 promoters, five GE crops currently prevalent on the market are corn (86 percent is genetically engineered), soy (93 percent), sugar beets (95 percent), canola (90-95 percent) and cotton. Others include salmon, papaya, yellow squash and alfalfa, which is used for animal feed.

KPBJ.COM | Petition to label GMO foods left for voters’ decision | Healthcare | Rodika Tollefson | KITSAP PENINSULA BUSINESS JOURNAL

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