Field Notes from the Campaign to Label GE Foods: Washington
By Julia DeGraw
Food & Water Watch is proud to work on the “Label It WA” campaign to pass a genetically engineered food labeling law (I-522) in Washington State. Citizens deserve the right to know what’s in their food and it appears that Washington could lead the way in being the first state to pass a GE food labeling law.
Our field campaign is off to a great start. With our allies including Label It Washington and Seattle Tilth, we are laying the groundwork for victory. We hosted five days of action throughout the state collecting photo petitions from locations like the iconic Pike Place Market, University of Washington Vancouver and the Main Market Coop in Spokane. GE Food Labeling volunteers are having fun as they build this historic campaign in Washington.
On January 31, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman certified the signatures that will ensure that I-522, “The Peoples right to know Genetically Engineered Food Act” will either be voted into law by the legislature or go to the ballot for public vote this November. On Feb. 14, the state legislature held a public hearing on the initiative, which was well attended with supporters of the initiative. From the hearing, it seems most likely that the legislature will choose to let the initiative go to a popular vote.
With the help of our volunteers we are well on our way to reaching our goal of 5,000 petition signatures calling on state legislators and Governor Inslee to endorse The Peoples Right to Know Initiative. Our Washington Organizers have also garnered endorsements from several Washington businesses and groups such as Dog Mountain Farm, and Lazy R Ranch who will also help pressure the state’s leaders to support labeling GE food in Washington. We are making great progress but our job is not done. All of our voices need to be heard. If you also agree that we have the right to know what’s in our food please ‘like’ us on our Food & Water Watch—Washington Facebook page to join our campaign to help pass I-522 this November.