After countless hours of hard work and over 350,000 signatures, the "Label It Wa" grass-roots campaign headed to the Secretary of State's office in Olympia today to submit the signatures in order to get "I-522 The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act" on the 2013 ballot.
Advocates of GMO labeling point to the fact that over 80% of food in U.S. grocery stores contain GMO ingredients. Of even greater concern is the mounting evidence of negative health effects caused by ingesting genetically modified foods. Studies have linked the food to sterility and infant mortality in hamsters, as well as massive tumors in lab rats who ate genetically modified corn for 2 years, as opposed to the industries study length of no more than 90 days.
Washington made GMO news after San Juan County residents and farmers passed Initiative Measure No. 2012-4 to ban the growth of genetically modified organisms. Labeling advocates hope to be successful again.
Similar legislation was just defeated in California after companies heavily invested in GMO, raised over $46 million against the labeling initiative. The main opponent to GMO labeling is Monsanto, who was recently found guilty of chemical poisoning in France after a farmer was exposed to their Lasso weedkiller formula, causing neurological damage.
Some worry about the tactics that could be used against Washington's initiative after opposition groups in California spread lies and disinformation concerning their campaign, most notably was the claim that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics considers GMO foods to be safe, despite the academy denying they ever made the statement.
If the initiative passes, it will be effective beginning July 1, 2015. At this time 90 percent of American citizens approve the labeling of GMO products.