Why GE Labeling is Important for Washington’s Apple Industry

Initiative 522 would ensure genetically engineered (GE) apples are labeled in Washington. This would allow shoppers to make an informed choice.

GE apples are being grown in Washington state

  • Currently there are approved for marketing to U.S. shoppers.
  • However, the a bid from Canada’s Okanogan Specialty Fruit to introduce the Arctic Apple – a GE apple engineered not to brown or show bruising.
  • The USDA has approved a three-year permit for in Washington state, at a location not disclosed to neighboring farmers or orchardists. It is current until May 2015.
  • The U.S. Apple Association, Washington State Horticultural Association, Washington Apple Commission, and the Northwest Horticultural Council have all over GE apples.

Washington is the nation’s leading producer of apples

  • Washington than any other state in 2011.
  • Washington’s apple industry accounted for of the nation’s apples in 2011.
  • More than in economic output was generated by all levels of production, packing, processing, marketing and research in the 2010-2011 apple season.

Apple exports are a vital part of Washington’s economy

  • The value of Washington apples sold as fresh or processed product is estimated at about .
  • An estimated 30 percent of Washington apples are exported overseas, with major markets in Asia, Canada, Mexico and South America.

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Thousands of jobs depend on Washington’s apple industry

  • About were directly employed in the apple industry in 2010-2011. Most of these jobs were in the sectors of the industry.

Washington’s major trading partners already require GE labeling

  • The for Washington apple exports in 2011-2012 were: Mexico, Canada, India, China/Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, UAE, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Malyasia.
  • (India, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia) all require labeling on GE foods.
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