Election letter -- Initiative 522: Yes

November 1, 2013 

The long-term effects of consuming genetically engineered (GE) food have not been studied. However, since the introduction of genetically engineered organisms, there has been a sharp increase in food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis in children under the age of 18 in the United States (reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2008).

Mandating labeling of GE food would provide a critical tool to study whether GE food is contributing to the digestive problems among children, and would enable health organizations to launch an epidemiological study to find whether the causative relation exists between GMO foods and digestive problems. It also could reduce the cost of health care by providing valuable information to people who are prone to food allergies. In fact, the 1990 Nutritional Labeling Act mandated by the FDA concluded that labeling GE food would indeed lower the cost of health care.

If you are one of the many thousands of people suffering with these problems, or are a parent concerned about the health of your children, you'd want to know what is in the food you provide for them. Initiative 522 is only asking for information to be put on a nutrition label. You have the right to know.

LORA RATHBONE, Richland

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