Washington State Initiative 522

All consumers want to know about suspicious ingredients in goods they buy. And if this good contains gene-modified organisms, buyers always want to know that (even if they don’t know what constitutes gene-modified organism). This stays true for Europeans his was wrong for the Washington State, whose residents voted 55% against imposing requirements for labeling goods with gene-modified ingredients. This initiative was exactly what we call Washington Initiative 522 and here is what it meant for a state’s society.

The sense of  Washington Initiative

The main reason why State governors wanted to impose a labeling requirement was purely economic. Most developed countries have already developed policies for labeling products containing GMO. So the US which also wanted to participate in international trade stayed an outlier without GMO-labeling. An issued initiative contained sanctions to those who didn’t want to abide terms of initiative and who would take responsibility for its implementation. This law gained support by a large number of organizations including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto Companyand others.

You may have asked why such a helpful initiative obtained a strict opposition. It was more predictable that consumers will like to know about whether their goods have GMO or not. But that was not true. The problem is that most people have a negative association with GMO while they don’t really know what GMO is. So if producers label all products consisting gene-modified ingredients, demand on them will dramatically fall. This is not good both for the economy of Washington State and for people working in factories. Even those 45% of risk-averse consumers didn’t help governors push the law forward.

What if Washington Initiative gets permission?

Although the law offered by State’s government may have led to higher transparency and awareness of what do we really eat consuming dairy products, it won’t give astonishing results to society. The same way as gene-modified organisms will never affect quality of products they are cultivated for. Attentive people stay aware that such organisms never hurt people the same way as not attentive people might not pay much attention to GMO label. So if this law obtained permission, it wouldn’t make a significant shift in consumers’ behavior. The same stays true about most labeling laws.

It is evident that if government imposed a labeling law, it wouldn’t affect the way we buy things. We would still come to our frequently visited shop to find our item and we would still need a best secured credit card to pay for a good we’ve selected. However, greater transparency would make us more responsible and if we buy a product, we already know what we should expect from it. Even though a labeling policy doesn’t have a high impact now, the World still goes further towards higher transparency and awareness. And soon economic conditions will make more and more states think about such laws and initiatives as Washington Initiative 522.