The No on 522 campaign is taking a similar strategic tact that helped win the day last year in California when Golden State voters narrowly rejected a GMO labeling initiative. The campaign has dusted off and updated a similar opposition report, which argues that a family of four in Washington should expect to pay an extra $490 a year if front-of-the-package GMO labels are placed on as much as 70 percent of the products on supermarket shelves.
The report that the Washington Resource Council is the pushing was prepared by Northbridge Environmental Management Consultants in Massachusetts.
“The reason for the higher costs,” Kriss Sjoblom, research director at the Council tells Seattle Weekly, “is because the initiative will drive GMOs from the market and force food manufacturers to reformulate their products and reconfigure their food processes. Food manufacturers will have to go certified organic on all their products.”
Essentially, this was a key argument food labeling opponents employed in California’s Prop. 37, which was rejected 51 to 49 percent.
Opponents hope that by hitting hard on the higher-cost message, it will help neutralize Yes on 522 ads that began running a week ago, one of which shows a woman holding up a package of Corn Flakes and saying, “If it is genetically engineered it has to say so. It is that simple and it won’t cost you a dime.”
Yes of 522 campaign manager Delana Jones says the report is misleading. “As far as raising costs, that is just don’t true. It’s not going to cost anything to put a label on product. They, the manufactures, change packaging labels all the time – and they are going to have eighteen month to come into compliance.”
So far, the Yes on 522 campaign has raised $3.6 million, while the opposition has pulled in $11.1 million