Report Analyzes GMO Labeling Impacts

Oct 9, 2013

Washington lawmakers wanted to know more about genetically modified foods and their impact. So they turned to the Washington State Academy of Science for some answers.

Credit Stan Dalone / Flickr

Tom Marsh is an agricultural economist at Washington State University who took part in the study.

“Our role is to provide science-based information for the public so that more informed decisions can be made” says Marsh.

The Committee concluded that GMO foods are “substantially equivalent” to food that isn’t genetically modified. The Committee also found that while there have been no documented adverse health effects from GMO foods.  At the same time it recommends continued monitoring for long term effects.

Regarding costs associated with mandatory labeling, Marsh says they vary and it’s not just the cost of labeling itself but the process of keeping GMO products separate from seed to production all the way to retail.

“And because many of our commodities are very homogenous, our systems have not been constructed to segregate in all of our crops, that’s why there will be these additional segregation costs” says Marsh.

The report does not make any recommendation on how the public should vote on I-522.

Copyright 2013 KUOW.