Once again the fight for GMO labeling has reignited with the introduction of a new GMO labeling bill, but this time in Washington. The “Label it Wa” campaign has already gained 350,000 signatures, and is finally headed to the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia for submission. As the movement comes during the same time that a New Mexico law calls for mandatory labeling of GMOs, it is obvious that individuals everywhere are still deeply concerned over the issue of GMOs.
If you aren’t concerned about GMOs, or think that foods aren’t labeled due to a lack of support over the issue, think again. In addition to being linked to weight gain and disrupting vital organs like the liver, GMO foods have actually been shown to cause massive tumors in rats, in addition to causing early death. Even more concerning is the fact that nearly 80% of the US food supply contains GMO ingredients. Ingredients that are likely created by biotech giant Monsanto, who is responsible for upwards of 90 plus percent of the world’s GM seed supply.
Perhaps this is why grassroots movements are popping up all around the country, and other nations have already taken a stand against GMOs. Despite the largest GMO labeling campaign Prop 37 taking a dive (due to false advertising and quite possibly questionable vote counting), still over 90 percent of citizens in the United States are heavy supporters of GMO labeling legislation.
Will the interest of Washington citizens win this campaign? One county in Washington, San Juan, has already succeeded in banning GMOs — at least to a degree. The residents helped pass Initiative Measure No. 2012-4 late last year that makes it illegal to “propagate, cultivate, raise or grow plants, animals and other organisms which have been genetically modified.” Despite not effecting GMO products in stores, it’s still a step in the right direction for Washington citizens. It should also be noted that citizens of Washington have also helped pass one of the first amendments allowing for the recreational use of marijuana – another move that shouts ‘we demand individual rights’ by the people.
In the end, every act toward the labeling of GMOs brings us one step closer to winning the fight for these rights (and an overall ban on the disease-linked creations). California’s Prop 37 may not have passed, but the bill, along with the Washington bill and every other GMO labeling bill, are necessary stepping stones for both labeling of GMOs and the essential ‘right to know’.