GMO Labeling Disinformation Campaign May Suffer Defeat in Washington State


Killer Tomatoes

Anti-biotech luddites tried to scare the citizens of Washington State into voting for the I-522 initiative that would have mandated labels on foods containing ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, even those crops are as safe or safer than conventional or organic crops. Styled as a "right to know" initiative, the scientifically dishonest proponents of labeling actually hope that confused consumers would mistake them as "warning labels," and thus avoid purchasing foods made from cheaper and more environmentally friendly biotech crops.

All the votes are not yet in—a lot of in Washington State residents vote by mail, but the trend looks promising. As Politico reports:

Washington state's GMO labeling measure appears to be going down in defeat, early results show.

With slightly less than a million votes counted, the current tally on Ballot Initiative 522, which would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms, show those opposed leading by about 536,000 (54.8 percent) to 442,000 (45.2 percent). The figures represent about a quarter of the state's 3.9 million registered voters, but not all of the votes have been counted.

The delay in the final vote total is due to the fact that Washington is a mail-in ballot state, and it will count any ballots postmarked by Nov. 5, even if those ballots arrive at the end of the week. As a result, the tally on election night often only reflects about 60 percent of the votes that ultimately will be received, according to Brian Zylstra, a spokesman for Washington's Office of the Secretary of State.

If that holds true in this election, with 997,566 ballots counted on election night, another 665,044 could be in the mail.

Here's hoping that good sense will ultimately prevail among Washington voters and this scientifically ignorant measure fails. It's a pity that the food and farming industries have to waste so much money to counter this egregious anti-biotech propaganda.

NEXT: JFK Still Dead, Baby Boomers Still Self-Absorbed

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Richmond [BC] company embroiled in Washington State GMO fight

    But Nature’s Path Organic in Richmond, B.C., gave $250,000 to groups in support of the bill. The company’s owner, Arran Stephens, says that a ‘yes’ vote in Washington would cause a “ripple effect” and ultimately encourage GMO labelling in Canada.

    1. So once again we should blame Canada?

      1. I thought that was standard operating procedure.

      2. Dollar sign park Yen – is that really you?!

        1. He came crawling back after Ke$ha kicked him to the curb.

    2. The Canucks should shut their filthy flapping head mouths and stop spouting their Bryan Adams inspired lies.

      1. But “Everything We Do, We Do It For You?”

  2. Slightly related: Mother Jones loves govt regulation… Unless it affects “hipster farmers” making artisinal foods.…..ganic-FSMA

    1. Recent salmonella outbreaks involving a dizzying array of peanut products and a half billion eggs

      Are nut allergies the new red scare? Discuss.

      1. I had a friend who grew up eating peanuts buy some and go into throat-closing anaphylactic shock. So it is obviously real, but probably only more dangerous than shell-fish because peanuts are not as specialized. I think that (a)yes allergy risk is overblown and (b)modern methods make allergen exposure more likely. Also, there don’t seem to be any medium allergies. Either you tolerate them fine or your throat swells closed.

        1. Eh, I probably have a “medium” allergy. I can pick around pecans and walnuts without serious side effects, but if I eat a single praline I feel like I’ve swallowed unprocessed wool. It goes away in 5 to 24 hours. I don’t seem to have any other problems from it.

          I always thought I just disliked nuts*, discovered that I really like the taste of pralines, and that pralines hate me with a fiery passion.

          *the joke you’re about to make has been old for almost 13 years, don’t do it.

          1. *the joke you’re about to make has been old for almost 13 years, don’t do it.

            Dammit, Jesse. Can you really expect to come here and NOT have nut jokes lobbed at you? I mean, it’s not like they’re hitting you in the face or anything…

            1. ba dum pum, tiss

            2. I should’ve known better than adding the “don’t do it.”

              Can you really expect to come here and NOT have nut jokes lobbed at you?

              You’re right, I should always be expecting nuts when at H&R.

              1. I should’ve known better than adding the “don’t do it.”

                Of course you shouldn’t have. If you hadn’t, I probably would have just thought the jokes and giggled to myself. But since you purposefully went and told me not to, well… I DO WHAT I WANT!!!

                1. Would it have helped if I included please?

                  1. MMMMMMMMMMM, no.

                    I still would have found myself too amusing to not post.

                    1. Hmm, I was afraid that might be the case, but I certainly understand where you’re coming from.

                    2. Glad you understand. Now back to the jokes.

                      Man, it must really suck to be gay and allergic to nuts.

                      If swallowing a nut makes you feel like you have wool in your throat, your dude needs to get a checkup.

                      Always disliked the taste of nuts? The guys you date must eat too much red meat.

                      Ok, I’m done. At least for now.

                    3. Tuckered yourself out with that?

          2. Would you say you’d go balls out to get some hot nuts in your mouth?

            1. Yes. I’d say that’s an accurate description of my evenings.

          3. Ahh. So I’m totally wrong. Its okay, today is apparently my day to be wrong. Actually, it started last night according to my wife. This, too, shall pass.

            1. The way people react when you say “oh I’m MILDLY allergic to this” is distressing. I usually just say I don’t like walnuts or pecans now just to avoid whoever cooked panicking and trying to hunt down an epipen for me. I wonder if mild allergies are just under-represented for similar reasons.

              1. That’s probably true. Especially with nut allergies.

            2. Apparently this is what the ninth month of pregnancy is like – husband is always wrong.

              That’s ok, I can deal with that for a month.

              1. Literal conversation: “Its not that I don’t trust that you installed the car seat right, I would just feel better if I went to the fire station and had them look at it.”

                The fucking baby classes told her about the fire department. Asking her whether she thought they had engineering degrees or care more about the baby than I do were wrong ways to respond. Also, asking her exactly what situations she thought having a “properly installed” car seat would make a difference. Also, pointing out that she can’t both completely trust me AND feel like she has to have someone check my work.

                Just in case you haven’t had that go-round yet.

                1. I don’t know how you people do it.

                2. My wife and I have a “Trust but Verify” policy. That is, we trust each other’s abilities, decisions, and actions but try to objectively verify them. It’s what we call an “idiot check”. Kind of a last step to make sure we’re not doing something idiotic.

                3. Fire station?

                  Jesus fuck. When I was a very small child, I used to ride around on the floor of a pickup truck between my mom’s feet. I remember being quite angry when I was 5 and they passed a seatbelt law for people under 6 years old. No wonder everyone’s allergic to everything now. They never had a chance to be anything but delicate porcelain mice.

        2. Well, there’s nothing there that a few shiny new government regulations can’t clear up. Obviously though the first step is to institute a national Nut Allergy Awareness Month.

          1. And the NFL can wear nut brown socks, towels and gloves?

        3. My mm has a peanut allergy, but it doesn’t make her swell up, just gives her migraines.

      2. Every year about this time, my wife feels the need to have the same damn discussion about whether or not to put walnuts in the Tollhouse cookies.
        YES, people with nut allergies know to look out for walnuts!”
        “Well, I’m not sure…”
        “Then don’t make them.”
        She makes them. With walnuts. People love them.

        1. I’ll never understand why people ruin perfectly good brownies by putting the sweaty gym sock of nuts on them.

          1. They do the same to a perfectly good salad, and I like walnuts.
            By themselves.

            1. Eating walnuts in a world where almonds and hazelnuts exist is like eating pig’s feet in a world where pork tenderloin and bacon exist.

              1. I guess I’m an all of the above type of guy.

              2. There oughta be a law!

          2. I’ll never understand why people ruin perfectly good brownies by putting the sweaty gym sock of nuts on them.

            So totally this. Walnuts are disgusting. My mom of course put them in everything.

          3. I have no problem with walnuts, but I think that nuts generally ruin brownies or most cookies.

        2. Your wife should absolutely keep making them with nuts, especially if she always does and people know it, but I hate biting into cookies only to discover they’re cookie + walnut. I always appreciate when people do a batch with and without, but I don’t expect people to put in the extra effort. At least it’s usually easy to tell with chocolate chip; oatmeal raisin cookies are lumpy enough to hide walnut chunks.

          1. Unsignalled oatmeal raisin is the pushup bra of cookies. You bite in expecting chocolate and you get a fucking raisin, which isn’t horrible, but if you were expecting a C-cup and you get an A…

            1. you get a fucking raisin, which isn’t horrible

              Yes it is.

        3. I don’t know why she’d fuck up chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, but it takes all kinds, I guess.

        4. What kind of people? Mutant people?

          Walnuts in Toll House cookies are like grapes in chicken salad–they are an abomination that have no place.

          1. Your an abomination. And all of my preferences and tastes are the correct ones. So there!

        5. Why isn’t the discussion about ruining perfectly good cookies with fucking nuts!!!

          Jesus i bet she puts raisins in them too.

  3. If there’s one thing that there is no shortage of here in Murika, it’s misguided scaremongers, alarmists, and luddites who will seemingly latch onto any cause, no matter how useless, just to have something, anything, to whine about.

  4. Here’s hoping that good sense will ultimately prevail among Washington voters and this scientifically ignorant measure fails.

    Good morning Mr Bailey, welcome to the United States of America. It’s quite clear that you’re new here so please take a little time to get used to the place.

  5. …a lot of in Washington State residents vote by mail…

    All of them, actually. Or at least all the residents who vote at all.


    1. damn, felt like I was on twitter for a sec.

  7. I don’t understand. Is there some current law in Washington that prevents food purveyors from slapping huge “THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS NO GMOS” on the label? Consumers could assume products not so labeled did contain GMOs and behave accordingly. But that would take away all the fun of coercion and, besides, remember the children.

    1. Is there some current law in Washington that prevents food purveyors from slapping huge “THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS NO GMOS” on the label?

      Given the state of labeling regulations, I wouldn’t be too surprised if there was.

      1. I know you can’t say that a milk product has no rbst in it, because the milk from those cows is chemically the same, there is NO way to verify te claim. Instead, Ben&Jerry;’s puts a statement that their farmer pledge not to use it. Same could be done with GMO crops.

    2. Maybe we should allow Jif to put this on their peanut butter: “WE’VE TAKEN EXTRA CARE TO REMOVE ANY POISONS THAT WILL GIVE YOUR CHILDREN CANCER.”

      See the potential problem?

      1. Well, remove the word, “ANY” and the lawyers might find it defensible.

      2. And 99% feces free!

  8. Hey, it’s all about ‘right to know.’ What do you have against equality and fairness?

    And teach the controversy. The Earth is heavy–throw those turtles a bone.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.