October 16, 2013

NO on 522 Coalition


Leading Washington Newspapers Urge NO on 522

Leading Washington newspaper editorial boards have looked at the facts about Initiative 522 on the November ballot and are urging readers to reject the measure, calling I-522 a “clumsy, clunky effort” as well as “costly and burdensome” with “no demonstrable benefits,” and saying “if the initiative intends to inform consumers, it fails.”

The No on I-522 campaign has characterized the GE food labeling measure as costly and misleading, and fundamentally bad policy that fails on its basic promise to provide consumers with accurate information about what’s in their food. That’s why hundreds of scientists, physicians, and all of Washington’s major agriculture groups, food processors and food producers oppose I-522.

The following editorial boards have analyzed the measure and weighed in by urging NO on 522: The Seattle Times; The News Tribune; Tri-City Herald; The Columbian; Yakima Herald-Republic; The Longview Daily News; The Wenatchee World; and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Excerpts from the editorials are below:

The Seattle Times
“Vote No on Initiative 522, the GMO labeling initiative”
October 5, 2013
  • “INITIATIVE 522 is a clumsy, emotion-based campaign”
  • “Labeling is one part of an effort to make the use of GMOs more expensive, arduous and complicated for farmers, processors, shippers, inspectors and regulators. Confused consumers are a desirable bonus.”
  • “GMO labeling protocols provide for a multitude of exemptions that do not serve consumers.”
Read the entire Seattle Times endorsement >

The Tacoma News Tribune
“I-522′s labels are anything but neutral information”
October 31, 2013
  •  ”It’s obvious from the text of Initiative 522 that the measure is an attempt by the organic food industry to stigmatize the competition.”
  • “I-522 is about a contrived GM panic, not innocent truth-in-packaging. Real information isn’t a purportedly neutral label attached to vague insinuations of peril. The public deserves the whole truth about biotechnology — and spooky innuendo doesn’t tell it.”

Read the entire Tacoma News Tribune editorial >

The Tacoma News Tribune
“I-522: Deceptive ‘truth’ about food and science”
October 6, 2013
  • “An initiative that touts itself as protecting the public’s ‘right to know’ ought to guarantee accurate and complete information. Initiative 522 does the opposite.”
  • “…the initiative would invite ‘any person’ to bring a lawsuit against the farmer, food processor or storeowner.”
  • “I-522 doesn’t live up to its own truth-in-packaging claims.”
  • “This is crank thinking, not science.”
Read the entire Tacoma News Tribune endorsement >


The Olympian
“I-522 hides real agenda about GMO foods”
October 22, 2013
  • “[I-522] The initiative would confuse rather than inform, so voters should reject this poorly worded and deceptive initiative.”
  •  ”Some foods with no genetically modified organisms would require a label, while other foods that do contain GMOs would not. The exemptions in this initiative would make no sense to consumers.”
  • “For example, the sucrose found in beet sugar and cane sugar are chemically identical. But the initiative would require labels on packages of sugar made from genetically altered sugar beets, not from cane sugar. Cheese gets an exemption whether or not it contains altered enzymes.”
  •  ”Many defects plague this initiative, but that’s reason enough to vote no on I-522. “
Click to read the entire Olympian endorsement >

The Longview Daily News

“Costly GMO labeling unneeded”
October 30, 2013
  • “GMO technologies have been literal life-savers in parts of the world where food shortages were once commonplace.”
  •  “There are too many exemptions, beginning with all food served in restaurants and all cheeses.”
  •  “An expensive, needless governmental bureaucracy will be created to monitor and enforce provisions of I-522.”
Click to read the entire Longview Daily News endorsement >

The Tri-City Herald
“Reject Initiative 522”
October 13, 2013
  • I- 522 is “a costly and burdensome measure with no demonstrable benefits”
Read the entire Tri-City Herald endorsement >

The Columbian
“Vote No on Initiative 522”
October 13, 2013
  • “Initiative 522 is a clumsy, clunky effort…”
  • “… contains too many inconsistencies to warrant support”
  • “… undermine supporters’ arguments about the public’s right to know.”
Read the entire Columbian endorsement >

The Yakima Herald-Republic
“Initiative 522 creates more problems than it solves”
September 29, 2013
  • “The same profit motive — at a smaller scale — applies to organic-food companies and others that stand to benefit from the labeling.”
  • “… the initiative holds the potential to create more problems than it solves…”
Read the entire Yakima Herald-Republic endorsement >

The Everett Herald
“A reluctant no on I-522″
October 16, 2013
  • “… [L]abeling needs to be done the right way, and I-522 falls short. Should citizens let the perfect be the enemy of the good? That’s up to Washington’s David-oriented voters. With I-522, the perfect is the enemy of the middling.”
Read the entire Everett Herald endorsement >


The Wenatchee World
“No need for Initiative 522”
October 12, 2013
  • “… will force labels on products that all legitimate science says is no more dangerous than any food, that has been consumed over decades with no ill effect, that harms the environment in no significant way.”
  • “There will be millions in regulatory expense for farmers and government. The initiative invites lawsuits challenging the purity of products.”
  • “If the initiative intends to inform consumers, it fails.”
Read the entire Wenatchee World endorsement >


The Moscow-Pullman Daily News

“Initiative 522 won’t make Washington food safer”
September 23, 2013
  • “… the new requirements will accomplish little, other than increasing operating costs for food producers — who you can be sure will be more than happy to pass on those extra expenses directly to the voters responsible.”


The Journal of Business (Spokane)
“I-522 would create bureaucratic morass”
October 10, 2013
  • “Initiative 522 … would create a needless, expensive bureaucracy to address something that hasn’t been shown to be worthy of concern. For those and other reasons, it should be rejected.”
  • “…I-522 is so poorly crafted that it exempts some foods, but not others, leaving consumers with no clarity.”
  • “I-522 is, in the context of food, simply unpalatable.”
Read the entire Journal of Business endorsement >

Capital Press

“GMO labels would waste consumers’ money”
October 18, 2013
  •   “A Washington state initiative that would require a special label on some food that has genetically modified ingredients would cost lots of money — and every penny would be wasted.”
  • “…Initiative 522, will cost money, and lots of it.”
  • “Proponents of I-522 say the label law wouldn’t cost a dime. That’s true — it would most likely cost way more than that.”
Read the entire Capital Press endorsement >


The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
“I-522 is aimed at problem that doesn’t exist”
October 18, 2013
  • “I-522 mandates GMO food products be labeled. There’s no need. If consumers are concerned, businesses would label products to boost sales.”
  • “I-522 is poorly crafted. It puts demands on some products and not others. We believe it’s likely to cause problems for no reason.”
  • “I -522 is an overreach. We urge a ‘no’ vote.”
Read the entire Walla Walla Union-Bulletin endorsement >

The Spokesman-Review
“Editorial: I-522 no help to consumers or producers”
October 22, 2013
  • “Exemptions for everything from dairy and beef products to restaurant foods render much of I-522 meaningless to consumers.”
  •  ”As is so often the case with initiatives, I-522 is a potentially good idea wrapped in very bad law-making.”
  • “… Washington products will be at a disadvantage if labeled with the scarlet “GE” when farm producers in no other state have the same responsibility.”
Click to read the entire Spokesman-Review endorsement >