State of Washington Seeks Labels for GMO Foods

By Lisa Wederspahn
Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 16, 2012 Last Updated: January 18, 2012
Related articles: United States » West
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OLYMPIA, Wash.—“People have the right to know what they’re eating,” said Maralyn Chase, the Washington state senator who is sponsoring a bill that would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) materials, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

GMOs are “the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal,” according to the Institute for Responsible Technology. Currently there are no federal laws in the United States that require GMO foods to be labeled as such.

Chase has been working on this issue for many years and believes requiring labels on GE food is about the “question of transparency and accountability,” and that people want to know what is in their food.

The bill states that by July 2014, all genetically engineered raw foods must be clearly labeled with the words: “genetically engineered,” and processed foods must include a label that states that the product may contain genetically engineered ingredients, and name these ingredients on the label.

In the spring of 2011, Eastern Washington farmers brought a petition containing 1,200 signatures to the Legislature, calling for labeling of GE foods. Tom Stahl, a wheat farmer in Waterville, Wash., who spearheaded the petition, is passionate about getting labels on foods produced using GMOs.

Partnering with other local farmers he helped create the “Committee to Save Farm Markets,” and the group has sent petitions to U.S. Congress and local state representatives for the past few years. They have often been met with silence.

Stahl says that tests done on animals show that GMOs are a danger to health, but there still haven’t been enough in-depth studies of the effects on humans, which concerns people. “The more people learn about GMOs, the less they like them,” says Stahl.

Big agricultural companies like Monsanto, owner of the majority of GMO crop seeds, are driving the production of GMO foods, according to Stahl. The major GMO crops are soy, corn, cotton, and sugar beets.

The majority of wheat that is grown in the United States is sold to East Asian countries, especially Japan, says Stahl. He is concerned that local wheat farmers could lose their foreign market if GMO wheat is sold to Asia, because Japanese millers and bakers have explicitly stated in conversations that they will not accept GMO wheat from the United States.

Another Washington state official, Rep. Cary Condotta, is also supporting a similar bill that also requires labels on GMO foods. Sen. Chase said that bills may be combined in the future as the legislative process unfolds.

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  • Diana Smiley Bartkowiak

    when will we realize that we should not share DNA period. (unless it’s a blood or organ donor for life-threatening reasons.) But when it comes  to the ‘food’ we eat we should not be eating another animal life source.. we are animals. .we are mammals. Why are we eating another animal/ mammal? We  produce eggs and milk (woman) so why would we eat another form of life in t his way. As a woman that suffered many female issues… I must say this was a big eye opener for me… just another reason that I went Vegan. Science and medicine need to study and share that fact… our bodies see an other animal product as an intruder into our bodies. Ponder on that! The fact that food is not only our nutrition, but our bodies “read” the info of the other animal food product that we eat, causing our cells to attack themselves, a HUGE reason we suffer many- many ailments. (just some food for thought!) 

  • draftycranium

    wow. when was the last time someone already in office said, ‘people have the right’ to anything? 

  • JanaShearer

    Draftycanium:     When they want to get in….

  • Alexis Baden-Mayer

    If you’re in Washington State, please take action! Ask Your Reps to Cosponsor HB 2637!
    Ask Your State Senators to Cosponsor SB 6298!
    Call Your State Senators to Ask Them to Cosponsor SB 6298!
    Call Your State Reps to Ask Them to Cospsonor HB 2637!

  • Anonymous

    We do have scientific evidence that GMO’s are dangerous to health.  After 16+ years of GMO’s on the market,  the science is mounting.  See Dr. Hubor’s interview with Food Democracy NOW!  GMO’s are causing Goss Wilt in corn, Sudden Death Syndrome in soy and up to 45% infertility rates in farm animals.  All due to magnesium deficiencies which has been traced back to the active ingredient in RoundUp Ready herbicide, glyphosate.

    If GMO’s had been labled, the increases in infertility, auto immune diseases, unusual cancers and other health events in our population over the last 15 years could be studied and, I believe, directly linked to GMO consumption.  But because there is no label requirement, there is no way to discern if GMO’s is the underlying cause.

    Moreover, Monsanto has launched smear campaigns through PR firms to discredit scientists who go on the record to say GMO’s are unsafe for humans, animals and the environment.

    Finally, Monsanto is one of THE most unethical companies in existence (besides maybe some weapons manufacturers).  Monstanto brought the world Agent Orange and LIED about the dangers of Agent Orange to human health thereby delaying vet benefits for over 10 years – Monsanto claimed to have “scientific studies” proving Agent Orange was safe!

    Monsanto also secretly dumped very poisonous dioxins in a black neighborhood in Anniston, AL causing horrible disease, suffering and death to the people living near the dumped dioxins.

    Monsanto not only owns MOST of the GMO seeds, it owns most of all the seeds in the world!  Monsanto has been buying up seed companies right and left and just recently purchased the biggest seed company in the US.  Monsanto clearly wants to own ALL the food in the world.


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