Washington State's Initiative 522 does more harm then good
Debate Rounds (4)
522 is a bad idea for the following reasons:
1)The law only benefits certain business
2)Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO"s) are harmless
3)The labeling regulations make absolutely no sense
The law only benefits certain businesses. The fishermen who only fish for wild fish will find an economic boost by taking away business from the farmed fish industry which produces genetically engineered fish. However, crop farmers would have suffered by having to go through a new set of confusing, misleading, badly worded laws (which I will elaborate on later). 522 would have forced farmers and producers to spend money on new labeling, packaging, distribution, and recordkeeping actions, or go with option two " switch to more costly, specially handled, non-GMO products to keep their business in their home state: Washington. The Washington State Farm Bureau (WSFB) who represents 42,000 farmers in Washington State opposes initiative 522. If the people the initiative is claiming to help is against it, why should we support it? Another example: Yes on 522"s official website boasts that they have garnered 2,600 signatures in support of 522 by none other than wheat farmers themselves. What they don"t say is that there are 39,500 wheat farmers in the state. 36,900 wheat farmers oppose 522. The farmers themselves are against it " I hope that speaks for itself.
GMO"s have been scientifically proven to be harmless by 400 separate studies, including studies from the USDA, the FDA, and the American Medical Association (AMA). According to the AMA, "there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods." Also from the AMA"s official website, "Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated. Consumers wishing to choose foods without bioengineered ingredients may do so by purchasing those that are labeled "USDA Organic."" There are already labels that say the same thing. Why force farmers to create an additional label that costs more to manufacture? Especially if additional costs actually cause shoppers to pay more for their groceries and giving out of state industries and mega-operations with cheaper food an edge?
For my final point, the exemptions and requirements of this law do not make any sense.
As stated by a chart on www.noon522.com, soy milk, tofu, and other soy products would be required to label their GE products. Cow"s milk, cheese, and other dairy products would be exempt. Soup sold in grocery stores would be required to be labeled. The exact same soup served in a restaurant would be exempt from the law. Fruit juice would be required to be labeled. Beer, wine, and liquor would not. Pizza sold in boxes at grocery stores would need special labels. The exact same pizza delivered in boxes would be exempt. Veggie burgers made from soy and corn would need special labels. Meat from animals fed genetically engineered grains and silage would be exempt. In addition, the manufacturers of food imported from foreign countries would simply have to claim they"re exempt. If 522 won"t even provide consumers with an accurate representation of GMO"s, what"s the point of the law?
So, I-522 is an initiative that has tricked the public with its campaign that makes the initiative seem incredibly simple. It is centered around benefitting certain businesses while significantly harming others " and consumers as a result. There are already labels that provide shoppers with sufficient information, so why is another label necessary? Especially when it doesn"t provide the public with full information about the ingredients in their food. Initiative 522 is an initiative not worth being a law because of its overall negative impact.
The "Yes on 522" official website (www.yeson522.com) states that it "won"t cost a dime." But if the law had been implemented, it would have created new costs for farmers in the fields of labeling, packaging, and recordkeeping of forced GE farmers to switch to more expensive, non-GE products to keep their businesses and their homes in Washington State. Not only that, but that price carries onto us, the consumers, and cost Washingtonians hundreds extra per year on groceries. To be exact, our grocery bills would go up by $360 through 2019. After 2019, it would go up by $490 according to the Washington State Wire. AND it would have cost taxpayers millions to fund the monitoring of GE products. The designers of this bill were trying to help Washington farmers have an advantage over large corporate industries using GE products, but in reality it would put them at a disadvantage for having to sell their product for more because of new costs and labeling. 522 also discourages farmers to use crops resistant to pests and disease and requiring less pesticides and water: GE crops.
You said that a Muslim might resort to eating no meat because they"re afraid of eating the wrong type. If so, then 522 is not the answer because it might fool them. Just look at the list of exemptions I listed in my above argument In fact, I-522 would fool them into thinking that they are 100% guaranteed to avoid meat restricted from their dietary habits when in reality, by eating out or eating foods from foreign countries, a Muslim might accidentally be eating the wrong foods. You also said that the company is not necessarily testifying that its product shouldn"t be bought. The whole idea of 522 is to keep people from buying GMO"s! So not buying foods labeled "genetically engineered" would be the goal of 522. Cigarettes are a whole different topic because they are widely known to have terrible consequences on your health. Not everybody knows that GMO"s are harmless, which is the problem. I understand your concern that people have the right to know what"s in their food. And they do! They only have to look for the USDA Organic label, and they would have their answer.
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