It's not every day I take a political stand on this blog. That is, unless it has to do with the erosion of the rights of a class of people, or of course food.
Last year California voters unfortunately did not pass a proposition that would have required labeling of GMO ingredients in foods. This year, Washingtonians have the opportunity to make this a reality.
I am no fan of nanny-state laws that dictate what people should or shouldn't do with their private lives. I think New York's ban on supersize soft drinks was ludicrous and pointless. After all, there was nothing stopping people from buying multiple smaller soft drinks, totalling the same volume. And anyway, it's the individual's choice what and how much they want to consume.
That's why this is diffferent: It's about choice. Adding GMO labeling will not dictate what or how much we should consume. Rather, it merely gives us more information to make informed choices about the foods we do consume. If GMO food does not concern you, then by all means buy away. But if it does, there is currently no transparency in labeling to guide you in your purchasing decisions.
As it was in California, there's a lot of money behind the opposition, largely from companies who have a vested interest in GMO foods. Needless to say, these companies have deep pockets, and certainly do not have the consumer's best interests in minds, just their shareholders'. The fact is that adding this labeling will not impact food prices (a lie that was commonly spread about Prop 37 here, as well). The only potential harm to food businesses is to those who would obscure the provenance of the source of their ingredients, prioritizing sales over consumer well-being.
So, if you are a Washington voter, I urge you to vote Yes on 522, and set an example for the rest of the country.