Cross-posted at WLF’s Forbes.com contributor page
Not even a year after fighting a bruising and costly battle over the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” (Proposition 37), proponents and opponents of mandatory biotech food labeling are poised for a rematch in the state of Washington. In February, the Secretary of State’s office certified ballot initiative I-522, The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, and forwarded it to the legislature.
Under Washington law, the legislature can either enact it into law, reject it or refuse to act on it, or approve an amended initiative. If lawmakers don’t act on, it goes to a public vote in November. If the legislature alters it, then both the altered version and the original version go on the November ballot. The likeliest scenario is no legislative action, which puts I-522 in the voters’ hands.
The similarities between the defeated California initiative and the impending Washington proposal go beyond their titles. The Washington proposal, authored by an advertising executive, embraces the spirit, if not the letter, of many of Prop 37′s provisions. One provision it did not borrow from Prop 37 was that initiative’s prohibition of “Natural” and “All-Natural” on food labels.
Some initial thoughts on I-522: Continue reading