Big Business Fights GMO Labeling

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As the fight to require labeling of genetically modified foods continues, big business continues to fight the effort. According to the consumer group Just Label It, companies are pouring money into a campaign to fight the passage of a GMO labeling bill in the state of Washington. Last week DuPont Pioneer donated $3.2 million to the No on 522 Campaign. A few days prior Monsanto added nearly $4.6 million. The Washington initiative states:
  1. Polls consistently show that the vast majority of the public, typically more than ninety percent, wants to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering. Without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered foods unknowingly may violate their own dietary and religious restrictions.
  2. Currently there is no federal or state law that requires food producers to identify whether foods were produced using genetic engineering. At the same time, the United States food and drug administration does not require safety studies of such foods. Unless these foods contain a known allergen, the United States food and drug administration does not require the developers of genetically engineered crops to consult with the agency.
Part of the argument against GMO labeling is that food prices will increase. According to a study conducted by Just Label It, there is no evidence that changes in food labels affect supermarket prices.

A poll released last week showed significant support for the Washington 522 measure. Two out of three voters said they would vote in favor of the measure.

Other companies and trade associations supporting the anti-522 effort include Dow, Bayer, BASF, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.