US: Washington State to vote on mandatory GM labelling
Washington State officials have announced that a law introducing mandatory labelling of genetically modified foodstuffs will be voted on in November at the latest, following the sucessful securement of 250,000 signatures by food campaigners.
The measure, known formally as Initiative 522 (I-522) or "The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act., if passed will require that agricultural commodities and processed foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients be labelled as such.
I- 522 had the support of 350,000 signatories from Washington State when the proposition was submitted to the Secretary of State. On Friday 1st February, the Secretary's office reported that I-522 had been certified for inclusion in the November ballot. It will now go before state legislators, who could pass it into law directly, take no action (in which case the labelling proposal will still appear on the November ballot for a public vote), or arrange for a public vote earlier than November pitting the proposal against a legislative alternative.
The push in Washington State comes after attempts to introduce GM food labelling (Proposition 37) in California, which was narrowly defeated in the polls in October 2012.
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