Letters to the Editor

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I-522: Facts don’t warrant voting yes

Letter by John C. Hales, Auburn on Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm with No Comments »
October 29, 2013 1:24 pm

We’re hearing a lot of emotional arguments from proponents of Initiative 522, but can we just look at the facts?

The majority of scientific and medical experts – including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Academy of Sciences – have studied foods using modern biotechnology and found them to be safe. Yet I-522 would put what is essentially a warning label on these foods, misleading consumers into believing they have something to fear.

Facts should be the basis for policy decisions regarding health and safety, not politics and unfounded scare tactics.

Proponents of I-522 claim it will not increase the cost of food to us the consumers. Well, who will provide free labeling? Who will provide free monitoring? I-522 will create another bureaucracy tasked with monitoring tens of thousands of food labels at thousands of stores, farms and food-processing facilities in our state. That is not going to be free.

Also, farmers and food producers will incur costs to comply with state law if I-522 passes. All additional costs that the state puts on them will inevitably be passed down to us. That means higher prices for our groceries. A recent study showed that costs for a family of four would rise by at least $450 per year if I-522’s regulations were implemented.

We don’t need an increase in our food costs by slapping unjustified warning labels on safe foods. Please join me in voting no on I-522.

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