The GMO Fight Moves to Washington State

A pro-GMO labeling march held in Washington, D.C. in 2011
A pro-GMO labeling march held in Washington, D.C. in 2011

In November, California had the chance to pass the country's first wide-sweeping law mandating the labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients. But after a long fight, with celebrities weighing in and big ag companies pouring millions into a campaign to defeat the law, Proposition 37 was defeated.

Now, Washington State is taking up the GMO labeling fight. Food Safety News reports that the wheels are in motion for a law to be passed by the state's legislature. If the legislature fails to adopt the measure it will go on the general election ballot this November. The story goes on to say:

Backers of the GMO labeling measure, known as Initiative 522, collected 340,000 signatures, more than the 241,153 valid voter signatures required by state law to qualify as an initiative to the legislature.

The Secretary of State's spokesman said I-522 "would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale."

If a GMO labeling law goes into effect in any state, it's likely to impact the entire country, being that food companies are unlikely to produce special packaging and labeling for only one state. However, the scenario that one state's laws would make GMO labeling the norm is much more likely with a state as large as California.

And in related news:

First Frankenfish Poised to Hit Your Plate

Get Out the Vote: Proposition 37, California's GMO Labeling Initiative, Could Mean Change for the Entire Country

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