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Washington Initiative 522

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Silversnake, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Washington Initiative 522, 2012 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The full text of the bill is in footnote 3 of the Wikipedia page in a .pdf.

    Essentially, this ballot proposal would mandate labeling of GMOs in stores, but not in places which serve prepared food.

    Monsanto and other agra corporations are against it, so I am by default for it.

    Some criticism has been this will mean Washington will make it's own regs more strict than federal regs which will make food more expensive in our state for being special. I don't see that as a problem, since we already have more strict regs on wood burning stove smoke, California has the CARB regs which are more strict and I am sure other states have more strict laws than the feds in other topics.

    Any Monkeys have any particular thoughts on this proposal?
    AmericanRedoubt1776 and Dont like this.
  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    I will vote for this bill for the exact same reason as you @Silversnake !!
    If they are going to make labeling that show's all the calories, ingredient's and other health warning..... why wouldn't we want to know if this food has been modified.....
  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    But...but...but they're only modifying it to grow faster/stronger/more disease resistant/to produce more...for the children. Why on earth would you vote against the CHILDREN!?!?!?

  4. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Because I don't like kids and don't want any, that's why! [touchdown]
  5. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Children are evil little urchins, that always want more porridge.....
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  6. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    How very odd, they (TPTB) will force all manner of labeling, but have yet to demand COO, Country of Origin.

    I'd sure as heck like to know if the food being sold is from China....and a LOT of food sold today is Hencho en China.
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    A few. I read the wiki page which summarizes things but the things that will drive costs and implementation challenges are the devils in the details. In short, it is extremely difficult to have 100% non-GMO grain based foods arrive on your grocery shelves any more. So the elephant sized detail will be how pure does a food or grain have to be to be considered non-GMO? If it is less than 5% GM to be deemed non-GMO that is easy and not expensive. Less than 1% and it is starting to get more difficult but doable with good farming and grain handling practices and certainly some cost impact. Less than 0.1% as some proposals I have seen and the challenges and costs increase exponentially.

    Give you some examples.

    Most farmers do not have planting, harvesting and transportation equipment dedicated to GM and non-GMO crops. There is always some residual grain in the nooks and corners of the augers, trucks, gravity wagons, planters, grain driers, etc. It is extremely time consuming and tedious to vacuum out a grain drill (been there done that for seed test plots) to attempt to eliminate cross contamination of the seed with a different hybrid planted earlier. Same goes for all the other equipment. Modern farming is driving towards less and less labor and higher efficiency and if excessive cleaning will be necessary to keep contamination from GM variants at exceedingly low levels, then a price premium will be required to make it worth the effort.

    A second issue with low contamination concentrations is cross pollination. Self-pollinating crops like soy beans aren't hard but corn is a different story. Purdue University research shows that for a GM corn field next to a non-GMO field one must go into the non-GM field at least 20 rows or more to get below a 1% cross contamination level. High winds during pollination will blow that 20 row number away (sorry, pun intended) and Purdue says farmers may need to monitor and record wind directions and velocities to estimate how far contamination my extend into a non-GM field. It could be possible for a whole field to be above 0.1% due to high wind cross pollination. More work, time and equipment plus a harvest cost as non-GM corn typically has lower yields and can be wiped out by corn borer worms and the farmer won't be able to sell yields contaminated above the threshold at the higher non-GM prices. The non-GM corn will have to be even higher to compensate.

    The next challenge may be at the grain elevator where the farmer sells his crops. There are test strips that are used to test for a protein in GM corn that is a rough go no-go assessment but the real gold standard for assessing just how much GM is in a load of "non-GMO" grain is essentially a DNA test. They have to ship off like 5-6 pounds to a lab and it takes 3-4 days. Can there be instant tests that can be performed at the elevator that can catch 0.1% contamination? I don't know but you know that will cost money. If waiting on lab results are required, how is that grain going to be held in isolation from other grain until the test results are back so it doesn't potentially compromise a whole grain bin? Not really possible today in most locations. I suspect the farmer will need to be "certified" to grow and transport non-GMO if the really low percentages are employed by the regulations. And then contracts and trust between the elevator and farmer. You know that will all add cost.

    I think it is fair to assume it will cost more. I think it may well be worth it for GMO stuff. Contrast that with "organic" food and the research questions the cost benefit there. Stanford med school found no significant nutritional difference but one does have a 30% lower exposure to residual pesticide (it seems contamination still occurs in organics, probably in the food chain.) Manure type fertilizers are more readily employed in organic farming and consequently bacterial contamination such as e-colli and salmonella are often higher in organic foods. So, pick your poison I suppose and of course YMMV...

  8. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Only 30% lower exposure to pesticides because 'organic' according to USDA/FDA doesn't mean squat.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  9. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Yep. All the more reason to grow as much of your own as practical with the prepping / self sufficiency bonus.
  10. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Being self sufficient in as many ways as possible would be best.. Stocking materials would be a good thing as well..
  11. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    To me, this bill isn't really about food. It's about the ability of the people to resist corporate power. Of course, I produce a significant amount of my own food. That isn't the point. I was looking for additional insight to the merits of the bill itself.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  12. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    As it stands, at mid pacific, grain destined for Japan is tested.. If any GMO grain is found then the whole load is rejected..
    Many countries in europe has out lawed GMO foods..
    If they are able to control the food, then they can control the populace... Through corporations and the use of lawsuits and regulations, they will try to stop your food production.. Example, a rancher in Montana is fined for growing his own wheat. Courts ruled that he was in fact in violation of the interstate trade limitations on wheat production... Not to mention the litigations initiated by monsanto..
  13. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

  14. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Oregon-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    Agreed, that's why my main focus of prepping among the areas of 7-B's: "Beans-Bullets-Bandaids-Batteries-Bullion-Books-Brotherhood" is growing my own food using permaculture principles including rabbits, chicken tractor, and aquaponics of tilapia and catfish.


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  15. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey++

    I take it you never had any
    Silversnake likes this.
  16. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    I have 3...thanks though.
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