GMO Laws Spread to Washington and New Mexico

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Just months after the November defeat of California’s Proposition 37, the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” proponents of labeling genetically modified food have proposed similar disclosure laws in Washington State and New Mexico. Washington State’s initiative reads parallel to California’s Proposition 37 in many ways, with some sections of the proposed laws having nearly identical language. The law that has been proposed in New Mexico, sponsored in the State Senate by Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), seeks to achieve similar results but through a different approach.

WASHINGTON STATE: I-522, THE RIGHT TO KNOW GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD ACT -

Washington State’s I-522 was submitted to the Washington secretary of state as an initiative to the Legislature on January 3, 2013. If the secretary of state verifies the initiative’s estimated 350,000 signatures, I-522 will be presented to the Legislature during the next regular legislative session. The Washington State Legislature, which rejected a similar genetically modified food labeling law last year, will then have three options: (1) pass I-522 as written and without a popular vote on the measure; (2) reject the initiative or refuse to act on it, sending I-522 to a popular vote in the November 2013 election; or (3) send both I-522 and a legislatively created alternative to a popular vote.

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