Election letter -- I-522: No

October 30, 2013 

There is no turning back, genetically engineered (GMO) seed, major crop production and GMO in the food supply system is very large and here to stay. Ninety eight percent of the corn and 90 percent of the soybeans and cotton grown in the U.S. are produced using GMO seed. The reason for this growth is GMO seed provides the farmer with a technology package that reduces his cost of production by needing less labor, using less chemicals and fuel, while increasing yields. Twenty of the 28 countries planting GMO seed in 2012 are considered developing countries. So, GMO is not just for the rich, but also provides a modern technology package for farmers in developing countries.

I have worked in the seed industry for more than 40 years. In my opinion, and the opinion of a very large body of private and government researchers, the biotech methods used in today's plant genetics are safe. I am a father and a grandfather. I would not, in fact could not, say it was safe unless I truly believed it based on proven facts, not emotion.

Seventy to 80 percent of food offered for sale in the U.S. has some degree of genetically engineered products in them and they are safe as tested by many U.S. and international governments and independent researchers over many years. They have been in the food supply system for 20 years with no known food safety issues. Labeling of GMO in food products is not a food safety issue. Labeling would add cost and set Washington State apart from all other states in the nation, which would put our farmers, businesses, consumers and state at a disadvantage to all other states.

Vote NO on 522.

WAYNE UNDERWOOD, Kennewick

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