Organic Consumers Association

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Label GMO Food Initiative I-522 Passed First Bureaucratic Hurdle

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Washington News page.

Late Thursday afternoon, The Secretary of State's Election Division finished the review of Initiative 522,  and Secretary of State Kim Wyman signed the official certification. "The People's Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act" now moves to the legislature, which will do nothing, enact the initiative into law or modify it. Typically,  lawmakers pass initiatives along to the public to vote on in the November election.

The grassroots campaign turned in 353,331 signatures. A random sample estimated 17 percent were invalid. Washington law required 241,153 valid signatures to qualify.

The initiative would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale.

Last year, California voters rejected a similar Label GMO Food propitiation after multi-billion dollar corporations spent more than $45.6 million on an October multimedia advertising campaign that shifted public opinion against the food labeling law.

Although a 2012 poll showed that 91 percent of Americans supported labeling GMO food, Prop 37 was defeated 51.5 to 47.5 percent.

"I-522 is about freedom of choice so we can decide what we feed our families and whether we want to buy and eat genetically engineered foods," said Trudy Bialic, spokesperson for PCC Natural Markets.
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