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Friday, February 1, 2013

State Sends Initiative to Label Genetically Modified Foods to the Fall Ballot

Posted by on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 2:15 PM

The Washington State secretary of state’s office reports on its blog today that Initiative 522 is certified for the general election. If passed, the measure "would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale," the state explains.

Who's against this? Who thinks we shouldn't slap on labels identifying food with genetically modified DNA? The food-processing lobby.

“This initiative, although well-meaning, hurts the small and medium sized food processors in our state,” Northwest Food Processors Association president Dave Zepponi said in statement last month. The group argues that by creating a labeling standard in Washington State that differs from the rest of the county, the initiative would belabor business, driving up food costs, reducing jobs, and hurting small businesses. The food processor lobby insists that if you want non-GMO food, you can avoid it "by buying organic."

This calls for a poll.

 

Comments (67) RSS

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Cordwainer 67
It's not so much that I want to avoid it as I want to *know* so I can make my choices on an informed basis. Any food processor who wants to fight transparency requirements on what the fuck it is that *I* am eating, doesn't deserve to be in business as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by Cordwainer on February 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 66
@65: "Check out this article regarding the increase in acute kidney disease over the last ten years"

We are seeing "the effects", but until the "of what" is defined, assigning these arbitrary factors is irresponsible.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 4, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
65
@48
Check out this article regarding the increase in acute kidney disease over the last ten years. We are seeing the effects, we just can't directly correlate data because we are all tests subjects and we have no control group.
http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/12/13267/s…
Posted by flashpoint on February 3, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
64
@18,21,26
Hybridization is not genetic engineering of GMO's. It's very different, and you should do the research and understand why. It would take you about an hour or two. Encouraging traits beneficial to agriculture through selective breeding is very different than splicing plant DNA for herbicide resistance.
And it hasn't been thoroughly tested. The FDA didn't require any testing of GMO ag products. The producers of these products have tested them to make sure they do what they want them to do, but there have been no tests on human safety, unless you count this study on rats that showed their filter organs degraded rapidly over 90 days in the study compared to rats on a non GMO diet:
http://www.biolsci.org/v06p0590.htm

But what is more important, is this bill is not about the negative impacts of GMO's on our bodies or farm practices, it's about labeling GE foods. So if you trust Monsanto's propaganda, eat all the GMO corn syrup you want, but let me make the decision for myself.
Posted by flashpoint on February 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
63
I-522 is not about how dangerous, untested, or popular genetically engineered(GE) foods are, or if they may one day feed the world. That is a lengthy and complex discussions, and even people with PhD's disagree. I think what everyone can agree on is that we deserve the right to know what's in our food. We know our produce's country of origin and how much protein and vitamin C is in a pop-tart. I think we can label GE food. This is a non-partisan consumer rights issue, and it's good for everyone.
Posted by flashpoint on February 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 62
I'm with 3 and 8. I'd rather see regulation of Monsanto occur than this free-marketeer fearmongering. I didn't sign the petition for this reason.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM · Report this
61
We accepted the tobacco companies assertions that not only was smoking safe, heck, doctors recommended certain brands over others, but it was sexy!

So excuse me if I don't believe Monsanto telling me everything is wonderful out of hand. I see a lot of news of more and more physical and mental disorders. Could be just more reporting, I don't know. People in India are still living with the effects of a spill by Monsanto decades ago. And Monsanto has spent a lot of money denying it. And I'm supposed to believe they have my best interests at heart? Really? Just because they provide jobs?

I don't know that I can even trust the "organic" branding. I mean, I don't visit the farm. I don't know for certain they don't use Round-Up or buy their seed from Monsanto.

Nothing wrong with labeling. If a can of corn on a shelf says "improved by dinkering", and the one next to it isn't, I'll err on the side of caution.

And living in Washington state, I will be voting for the labeling.
Posted by diamondmask on February 3, 2013 at 7:34 AM · Report this
60
label it -- if it's better people will pay more for the label.
Posted by ww on February 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
59
@58 - If you are worried about speed and effectiveness of the process, it seems that conducting transparent and adequate risk studies before products go to market is the ticket but clearly industry and "regulators" aren't interested, which is why consumer input is the logical next step.

@54 _ Do you also remember him supporting the invasion of Iraq as late as 2010?

The only-GM-agriculture-can-feed-the-world myth is going to be freely regurgitated over the next few years. Better be ready for it. See my post @36.
Posted by anon1256 on February 2, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
58
If the real concern is that genetically modified foods may be hazardous and should undergo greater testing by non-biased third parties, then lets address that directly. Why not require that all genetically modified products sold in/as foodstuffs in Washington state be made available for neutral, third-party study?

The way @50 describes it, label requirements are just a slower, less effective way to achieve this.
Posted by digitalwitch on February 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 57
@54 - Yes, because this is about banning GMO, and not just labeling it.
Posted by Free Lunch on February 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM · Report this
56
Incredible comments here today ! ! ! !

Outstanding and thanx to the many thoughtful people regarding this most serious of issues.

Anyone know who the majority owner of Monsanto is, BTW?????

(I know some years back, when we were researching it, appeared to pertain to that old German rock song, rock-a-feller, rocka ..rocka...rock-a-feller.)
Posted by sgt_doom on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
sperifera 55
This was the first initiative I've signed in years. It was a PCC employee that asked me to sign it, a person that wasn't being paid to obtain my signature - which is a refreshing change. Tim Eyman ruined the process.
Posted by sperifera on February 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
katrat 54
I remember Roger Cohen writing in NY Times a while back that only very well fed Westerners who have not seen the devastation of starvation in Third World countries could be so inhumane as to try to ban genetic modification in food. If it bugs us, we can buy organic.
Posted by katrat http://www.kathrynrathke.com/ on February 2, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
53
Oh, Jesus H on a unicycle, does the corporate food lobby ever make sense? GMO's are unnaturally-occurring, often-hazardous substances that have been jammed down the public's throat for twenty years, and people STILL don't want them - given a choice, people won't go near them. I-522 is going to win because California's Prop 37 only lost against tons of money and Monsanto cribbing the FDA's logo on some advertisements. That last part's a crime, in case anyone cares.

All that aside, did anyone at Food, Inc, proofread the "consumers can avoid GMO's by buying organic" line of argument? How do we know if food is organic? BECAUSE IT'S LABELED. Case closed.

I-522 passes in a walk.
Posted by Che Guava on February 1, 2013 at 9:30 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 52
I try to buy US-made products when the choice exists. I'm willing to pay more for a pair of shoes or a belt or whatever when they are made here. Cellphones and laptops, no choice exists. But otherwise, I try.

And it's not because I'm afraid of foreign-made shoes making me sick, or because the quality is worse. In fact, shoes from China are indistinguishable from US-made shoes. Except for the label, which says "Made in China."

Without that label, I'd be unable to make the choice to support US workers and US industries. Is that labeling unfair to China? They probably think so.

But if I don't like the business model of the GMO industry (which is more of a what-if than my actual position), I have no similar options. Not every food product is available in organic form, and don't try to tell me that all non-organic foods are genetically modified. At least not yet.

I don't see how someone can support zero labeling on GMO due to its being nutritionally identical or as-safe or whatever, and yet support the "Made in China" label on shoes.

Might as well say, "Why should anyone care where the shoes are made. They're the same."
Posted by Free Lunch on February 1, 2013 at 8:56 PM · Report this
51
@19, please.

Please.
Posted by GermanSausage on February 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
50
@47 - As extensively noted in previous posts GM food testing is insufficient. The relevant, independently falsifiable animal studies (longer than 3 months) have not been done.

Labeling will allow consumers to vote with their feet and put pressure on the industry to accept greater regulations or do you expect the former Monsanto executive-run FDA to do it voluntarily? Setting up their own rules without consumer pressure is the reason why the industry doesn't want labeling.

Implying that pitfalls of conventional agriculture make pitfalls of GE agriculture acceptable (your last paragraph) doesn't logically follow.

@48 - Endocrine disrupting pesticides have been in use much longer than GMO's and we are still sorting out what they do. Uncontrolled experiments, however lengthy, won't tell you much about the safety of GMO's for human health.
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
BLUE 49
Clearly, having such an abundance of nutritious food that we can afford to throw over half of it away and still be morbidly obese means we need to change everything. Whatever you can't grow in your own shit in your own windowbox should be labeled and then banned.
Posted by BLUE on February 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM · Report this
48
I agree with #3. Given how long everyone in the US has been consuming GMO foods, we really would have noticed if there were some severe consequence by now. We even have a control group in the Europeans, who've gone and banned the stuff, to compare ourselves with.

But I suppose we could always just buy all the quinoa and send our cheap GMO foods to the Peruvian farmers. Never mind the incredible benefits in soil management and yield increases the technology has facilitated and the fact that the growing human population will almost certainly need genetic modification and other technology to ensure everyone has food to eat, especially in the face of climate change.
Posted by cjb5 on February 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM · Report this
47
@44, prion disease is a genetic modification? Nope. It has to do with how proteins fold, and the entire point is that it is contagious. Genetic traits are only "contagious" to offspring of carriers. And your statement that GMO foods have higher pesticide use than conventional/non-organic foods is demonstrably false. See, for example, the report the National Academy of Sciences published on GMO consequences. (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_i…)

Obviously, farming innovations should be tested for safety and regulated to prevent tragedy of the commons. But GMO foods are already subject to testing. And while personally I would support stricter regulation on herbicide/pesticide use to prevent resistance from developing, labeling does nothing to further that goal.

Every choice we make has a cost. So the question is if the benefits from labeling exceed the costs? Organic foods already are GMO-free, so provide a choice for someone who wants to avoid GMO products. Who is the consumer that desires conventional (pesticide/herbicide grown) food that's not-GMO? Because that's the only person this law would benefit.
Posted by Another Andrew on February 1, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
raku 46
43: Intellectual property is the whole point of all concerns around GMO's. Company invents GMO. Farmers must buy the GMO from the company to be efficient enough to profit at market price. Then the company owns the entire market for the crop, and all the accessories that go along with their GMO such as RoundUp. Company spends its money to control the market and lobbying for subsidies and low safety/economic/environmental regulations. Every GMO concern about safety or food diversity or the environment or the economy goes back to intellectual property.
Posted by raku on February 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 45
@29 I would hope we can choose between GMO MJ and non-GMO MJ when the state sells it.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 44
So when do they require cosmetics be labeled with what they contain?

Look, I may be pro-science, but I'm also pro-GMO-labeling. Just because you can alter genomes, through selective breeding (animal or plant husbandry) or through scientific alteration including the addition of OFF switches that respond to the lack of a corporate-supplied additive (as Monsanto loves to do), doesn't mean it's a good thing.

Prion disease is merely genetic modification, but we don't allow that, and we screen for it. We didn't use to, but now we do.

Consumers should be entitled to feedback. Non-GMO food tends to have lower pesticide usage, which is linked to various things, like Parkinson's, but the FDA is not permitted to research the impacts on humans, so labels allow us to make an informed choice.

An informed choice like "Sure, no prob" or maybe "No way, Jose".
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 1, 2013 at 5:23 PM · Report this
43
@41. Red herring. (Non-GMO) F1 hybrids don't breed true to strain anyway. So you have to buy new seed every year. If you want to avoid that, you need to plant open pollenated cultivars. Which are generally heirloom varieties.

But in any case, the issue of intellectual property concerns (which I tend to share) really doesn't have anything to do with labeling requirements anyways?
Posted by Another Andrew on February 1, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
42
Food safety is a major issue in the GMO debate. Potential concerns include alteration in nutritional quality of foods, toxicity, antibiotic resistance, and allergenicity from consuming GM foods. The concepts and techniques used for evaluating food and feed safety have been outlined (WHO, 2005b), but the approval process of GM crops is considered inadequate (Spök et al., 2004). Under current practice, data are provided by the companies owning the genetic materials, making independent verification difficult or impossible. Recently, the data for regulatory approval of a new Bt-maize variety (Mon863) was challenged. Significant effects have been found on a number of measured parameters and a call has been made for more research to establish their safety (Seralini et al., 2007). For example, the systemic broad spectrum herbicide glyphosate is increasingly used on herbicide resistant soybean, resulting in the presence of measurable concentrations of residues and metabolites of glyphosate in soybean products (Arregui et al., 2004). In 1996, EPA reestablished pesticide thresholds for glyphosate in various soybean products setting standards for the presence of such residues in herbicide resistant crop plants (EPA, 1996ab). However, no data on long-term consumption of low doses of glyphosate metabolites have been collected."

IAASTD Global Report:
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 5:17 PM · Report this
raku 41
#39: How can you say GMO's are not different and then list ways you believe they're beneficial? That is by definition different. Even if you believe they're good why wouldn't you want labeling to buy beneficial foods? Seems disingenuous.

I meant GMO's are obviously different because, by definition, they are intellectual property owned by a company. If a small farmer takes a GMO seed without paying Monsanto or whomever, they are breaking the law.

And GMO's don't make "food" cheaper, they make corn and soy byproducts cheaper. They make up >99% of GMO foods here.
Posted by raku on February 1, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
40
oops, sorry about the open tag
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
39
@35: I don't accept that they're obviously different. You would be wrong about my feeling on nutrition, trans fat, ingredient and allergen labeling and I would add animal product labeling to the list for the benefit of vegetarians and vegans.
As far as making food cheaper somehow being a bad thing, I'm baffled as to what you're getting at. Cooking from fresh is dramatically cheaper than buying processed anything.
Benign for the environment and developing economies? I'd say no. I'd claim beneficial. Sufficient food is critical to developing economies and the best thing to do for the environment with regards to agriculture is to chop down as little of it as possible and make the most food on the least land we can. Small farmers, it's probably close to neutral since their yields improve along with everyone else's so while prices may be lower (good news for everyone but farmers) they should have more to sell.
Posted by Sean on February 1, 2013 at 4:42 PM · Report this
raku 38
For computer programmers who I have a hunch make up 98% of libertarian commenters, this label is just like labeling software that isn't open source (if software was something you bought in stores). Does it mean non-open source software is bad? No. But it definitely means something.
Posted by raku on February 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
37
@35 - What makes them cheap are massive subsidies for GE crops, not inherent qualities of GMO's.
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
36
As for the often repeated myth that we absolutely need genetic engineering technology to feed the world:

"experts, such as the hundreds of international scientists that contributed to the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)—a report supported and endorsed by several UN agencies, the World Bank, and dozens of countries—have said that non-GE approaches that cost less and are more effective should be prioritized."
http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agricultu…
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM · Report this
raku 35
Ugh @ commenters. Even if you think GMO foods are benign for public health, the environment, developing economies, and small farmers, it obviously is different than other foods even just as intellectual property. I'm sure anti-labellers would have been against nutrition, trans fat, ingredient, and allergen labeling as well, not to mention labelling requirements defining what "tomato juice" vs. "tomato sauce" mean.

And the very simplest health impact of GMO's is to go to a chain grocer and look at how nearly all cheap junk food is made of corn and soy derivatives - GMO's make them so cheap it lowers supply and drives up cost on real food. Not to mention crappy, cruel factory farms that stuff animals full of GMO corn and soy.
Posted by raku on February 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
34
“Industry says these are the most carefully tested foods ever," said Charles Benbrook of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. "But there have been no studies on prenatal effects, on birth defects, on the long-term impact of exposure during fetal development."

Many GMO critics point to what they see as undue industry influence over what gets studied and published, as well as a regulatory system that they say bends to industry's wishes. In general, a 90-day animal study is all they need to win approval of a new genetically modified crop. But in Seralini's study, rats only started developing tumors after four months.

"If we learned anything from this new study," Malkan said, "it's that there are legitimate questions that need to be answered with legitimate research."

Margarida Silva, a biotechnology expert at the Portugese Catholic University in Porto, published a review in 2011 reporting a link between favorable outcomes in GMO studies and author affiliation with industry.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21…
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 33
Once again, a comic says what I wanted to say.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on February 1, 2013 at 4:12 PM · Report this
32
Until someone offers convincing proof for the harm that GMOs cause there is no reason to label them. At the moment it's just people who are grossed out by the idea of GMOs. The same people who advocate labeling GMO foods probably couldn't tell you what half the ingredients in a lot of popular processed foods are, but they want GMOs labeled because they think it sounds scary.
Posted by GMOscaredycats on February 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
31
UCS on GMO research:

multibillion-dollar agricultural corporations, including Monsanto, have fought independent research on their genetically engineered crops. They have often refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or they've set restrictive conditions that severely limit research options.

In 2009, 26 academic entomologists wrote to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that because patents on engineered genes do not provide for independent non-commercial research, they could not perform adequate research on these crops. "No truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions involving these crops," they wrote.

A Purdue University entomologist who signed the letter put it more succinctly to a reporter for a scientific journal: "Industry is completely driving the bus."


http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agricultu…
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
30
Union of Concerned Scientists on GMO:

While the risks of genetic engineering have sometimes been exaggerated or misrepresented, GE crops do have the potential to cause a variety of health problems and environmental impacts. For instance, they may produce new allergens and toxins, spread harmful traits to weeds and non-GE crops, or harm animals that consume them.

At least one major environmental impact of genetic engineering has already reached critical proportions: overuse of herbicide-tolerant GE crops has spurred an increase in herbicide use and an epidemic of herbicide-resistant "superweeds," which will lead to even more herbicide use.

How likely are other harmful GE impacts to occur? This is a difficult question to answer. Each crop-gene combination poses its own set of risks. While risk assessments are conducted as part of GE product approval, the data are generally supplied by the company seeking approval, and GE companies use their patent rights to exercise tight control over research on their products.

In short, there is a lot we don't know about the risks of GE—which is no reason for panic, but a good reason for caution.


http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agricultu…
Posted by anon1256 on February 1, 2013 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Dougsf 29
I have to admit though, a GMO label on a pack of cigarettes would be hilarious, and probably a cheap metaphor for somethingrather.
Posted by Dougsf on February 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
28
@24 - okay, what if there _was_ a strain of corn spliced with poison ivy? Do you think such a thing would not be tested before going to market? If not, it would be fair to demand more testing. A "Contains GMOs" label would do very little to further that effort.

Moreover, what is to be gained from taking your poison-ivy corn, lumping it into a category with loads of other strains of corn generally accepted as benign after extensive study, and demanding we label them all with the same meaningless phrase? It just doesn't tell you anything that matters.
Posted by Morosoph on February 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Sandiai 27
Quoth @5:

How about, "absolutely not, because labeling them lends credence to the woo-infested assertion that they are dangerous in some way"



Posted by Sandiai on February 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
26
@24: So after asserting it's different, you note you don't know that it is. There's been extensive scientific study of the safety of the products and it's all been benign. I think we should continue to do what we've always done in agriculture and use the best technology available to make the most food the cheapest and feed the most people while testing it along the way for safety.

Amazing how fast people jump from asserting something to refusing to defend it.
Posted by Sean on February 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
25
If producers of GMOs really wanted to stand behind their products, they would label them. It doesn't matter if GMOs are safe or not, people still have a right to know exactly what they're putting into their bodies.
Posted by treehugger on February 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 24
@21,

I don't know. How about you prove how it's not different? Let's say a company splices together corn with poison ivy. You don't think something in the hybridization could cause discomfort to humans?
Posted by keshmeshi on February 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 23
@8,

How about we label vaccines with the many side effects they've been proven to have? Oh wait. We do.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 1, 2013 at 3:02 PM · Report this
sasha 22
3 hits it on the nail. I have far more qualms about the abhorrent business practices done by the various agribuisness companies selling GM foods than I do about GM food itself. However given the market share Monsanto has for GM foods labeling seems like a good idea for now.
Posted by sasha on February 1, 2013 at 3:02 PM · Report this
21
@17: How is it different? Be specific. Be careful, because you're about to be completely wrong. We've been breeding plants for pest resistance for the entirety of agriculture.
Posted by Sean on February 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM · Report this
emma's bee 20
I really just wish they would label food according to whether Monsanto's filthy hand touched it. That would provide far more useful info to me than a would GMO label.
Posted by emma's bee on February 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM · Report this
disintegrator 19
@8: False equivalency. A label denoting a food product's genetically modified status does not imply a value judgement, nor does it imply a hazard to the consumer.
Posted by disintegrator on February 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
18
@17 - You would be providing "additional information" to consumers by labeling every product with the phase of the moon when it was packaged. That doesn't consumers are better off in any real way when you require it under the law.

"Contains GMOs" is a fundamentally meaningless label.
Posted by Morosoph on February 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
17
@14 Hybridization is different than splicing pesticidal genes into corn...

But don't worry, Monsanto says that pesticide is totally safe when it gets to the consumer. How could I not trust them? They don't have anything to gain, right!

Labeling is just information - I thought all those free marketers loved market participants to have information to make rational decisions.
Posted by deign_to_say on February 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 16
Can any one give us an example of a genetically modified HUMAN food found on shelves today? If so how do you know it's a GMFood with out the label?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on February 1, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
15
Please do explain exactly what valuable information a GMO label is supposed to communicate to me. It's simply too broad a category to make any meaningful scientific claims about.

Is it about people being able to make the informed choice to avoid GMOs? Because the evil corporate food processors are actually right, you know: if you want to avoid GMOs, you already can with the organic label.

We already voted on a measure like this in CA. It failed because Monsanto shoved lots of money at it to defeat it. I think Monsanto is obnoxious and sues too many people and often acts against consumers' interests. And you know what? They were still right on this anyways. Stop forcing me to be on their side with these misdirected attempts at legislation. I really hate that.
Posted by Morosoph on February 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
14
All the food we eat is genetically modified. That's what agriculture is.
Posted by Sean on February 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
13
Yes, it's a good idea...but someone needs to write one not riddled with special exemptions, and I voted against CA's because as I understood it, labeling would have been the responsibility of retailers which seems crazy to me.
Posted by LukeJoe on February 1, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Dougsf 12
What #8 said. "Having more info" always seems helpful—harmless at the very worst, right?—but that isn't necessarily the case.

Did you see Paul's post covering this, Dominic?
http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture…
Posted by Dougsf on February 1, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
11
"This product contains DNA, which some people think causes bad but completely unspecified things."

"This product contains mercury, which some people think causes autism."

Pretty much the same label. And they're usually the same sort of people. But hey, it's only a label, right? What do you have against labelling? It's only informing people, right?
Posted by GermanSausage on February 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
10
@7: I was responding to the poll options/post, not the initiative, which I don't really see a problem with.
@8: There's a difference between
"This product contains _____", and
"This product contains ____, which crazy people think ____ about".
Hopefully this initiative leans toward the former.
Posted by algorhythm99 on February 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
@8 no, that would be "some stupid people believe that Thetans live inside vaccines."
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 1, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
8
@7, sure. And lets label vaccines with the warning "some people believe that childhood vaccination leads to autism."
Posted by GermanSausage on February 1, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 7

@3) I appreciate your point, but this initiative doesn't require the state or food producers to "oppose all genetically modified food on principle." It requires them to label it.

Posted by Dominic Holden on February 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 6
@3, thirding.
Posted by Arsenic7 on February 1, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
5
How about, "absolutely not, because labeling them lends credence to the woo-infested assertion that they are dangerous in some way"
Posted by Reader01 on February 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
4
@3, seconding this
Posted by GermanSausage on February 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
3
No option for:
"I understand that applying science and technology to food production is vital to the progression of humanity and while certain organizations abuse this technology abhorrently and should be stopped and punished; I recognize that it is anti-intellectual and irrational to oppose all genetically modified food on principle."
?
Posted by algorhythm99 on February 1, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
2
So happy about this. The EU has had this requirement, and I don't believe their food system has crumbled.

Glad I got to sign for this initiative, and hopefully we can start what California wasn't able to!
Posted by deign_to_say on February 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 1
MMM, spider bits!
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM · Report this

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