SEATTLE, WA — Today marks the launch of the Yes on 522 – the campaign to label genetically engineered foods. Yes on 522 kicks off with strong and widespread support from around the state and, to date, has raised more than $1 million.
Earlier this year a committed group of concerned citizens brought together thousands of volunteers to collect over 340,000 signatures of voters from all over the state. And now, community groups, farmers, businesses, health care professionals, Republicans and Democrats, moms and dads, and fishing families have come together to showcase their support of I-522. Here’s what people and businesses are saying about Yes on 522:
“This issue is about transparency and the consumer’s right to make informed decisions. We believe that growers using genetically modified seed, and producers using the products grown from those seeds, have an obligation to share that information with their public. And the price paid by the food industry for relabeling is a pittance compared to the distrust that increasingly results from their concealment. We are in favor of I-522. At Whole Foods Market we Will Vote for Food.” — Joe Rogoff, President, Whole Foods Market, Pacific Northwest Region
“PCC Natural Markets has used the affidavit system that I-522 would put in place for years. It has not caused any undue burden or cost.” –Trudy Bialic, Public Affairs Director, PCC Natural Markets
“Over 60 countries either ban or require labeling of genetically modified foods. As a Washington wheat farmer this concerns me because at least 85% of our crop goes overseas. Not labeling genetically modified wheat could cause loss of overseas market share and have a real economic impact to my farm.” –Lynn Polson, farmer and member to save our farm markets
“The risks of genetically modified organisms are astronomical to wheat farmers like me– we could risk losing our market share.” –Tom Stahl, wheat farmer, Waterville
About Yes on 522: Yes on 522 gives Washington consumers more information about what’s in the food they and their families eat. Under this initiative, genetically engineered foods, like corn or soy, or foods with genetically engineered ingredients like chips, cold cereals, soft drinks, and candy would have a label noting that the food or food product had been genetically engineered.
About Yes on 522 campaign team: Delana Jones, campaign manager for Yes on 522, specializes in communications for progressive organizations. She led strategy and creative for Stonyfield Farm Inc., and has elected candidates to every level of government. Joining Delana on the Yes on 522 team are: Jeremy Zegas, deputy for outreach & field, most recently served as deputy outreach and political director for Washington United for Marriage; Lennon Bronsema, deputy for finance, was the finance director for Washington United for Marriage; and Elizabeth Larter, deputy for communications, was most recently research director for Governor Inslee’s campaign.