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I-522 Position Statement

Position Statement on I-522, Washington State’s GMO Labeling Initiative

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Joie Meissner ND

We as consumers have the right to know what’s in our food. It is unfortunate that in order to prevent any potential drop in their corporate profits, large companies have pooled their extensive financial resources in an attempt to confuse the public about the labeling issue.

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I think it is important that people know what their eating because what we eat has a lot to do with our health.  The labeling issue has brought much needed public attention to GMOs in our food supply. Because many of us do not yet have a clear understanding about what GMOs are, this lack of knowledge can be used by those with a vested interest to misinform us about this issue.

The FDA’s GMO approval policy does not require any pre-market safety testing of GMOs. The FDA’s consultation process lacks the transparency and scientific rigor needed to ensure the public safety.US intellectual property laws protect corporate safety studies as trade secrets so they are not available for public review.

Consultations with biotech companies are voluntary and these companies are not required to disclose all the data from the studies they conduct on their patented GM foods.

While industry sponsored GMO studies abound, independent GMO safety studies are lacking. Studies performed by researchers with no financial or professional conflicts of interest with industry stake holders as well as independent review of industry studies are essential to avoiding biased, inaccurate results.

Scientists in our country are not allowed to use GM foods for their research without the express permission of the patent holding biotech companies. Independent safety studies must therefore be conducted in countries outside the US, such as the 64 other countries that have enacted GMO labeling laws.

Despite the widespread promotion of the idea that GMOs have been scientifically proven to be safe, there are a number of studies that raise questions about GMO safety. An international group of over 90 scientists, academics, and physicians  concerned by claims made by the industry and others that there is a “scientific consensus” that GM foods and crops are safe for humans, animals and the environment confirmed that international agreements demonstrate widespread acknowledgment of risks posed by GM foods and associated farming methods.

View statement here

Labeling allows independent, non-industry sponsored human safety studies to be performed in countries that have GMO labeling laws. Our country has no such laws. When it comes to protecting our health, our current laws are out of line with the global consensus and fall below global standards for the regulation of GMOs.

Unanswered health questions persist for GM foods and more independent tests are needed. Labeling allows proper tracking of GMO intake and is thus needed for detecting any potentially negative public health impacts of GMOs.

As more and more attention is brought to this issue, consumers are becoming more GMO literate. When it comes to our health, the more information the better. We should not allow large corporations to deny us our rights to information about the foods we eat.  

Dr. Meissner recommends a Yes vote on I-522. 

Please feel free to ask Dr. Meissner any questions you may have about this issue. You may leave your comment in the text box below.

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