by: Essex Porter Updated:
The Washington Academy of Sciences has weighed in on Initiative 522 and says labeling genetically-modified foods would likely increase costs to consumers.
At the direction of state lawmakers, the Academy of Sciences conducted an independent study of peer-reviewed scientific literature.
The study found that keeping non-genetically engineered foods separate from other foods will create costs for farmers and suppliers. "That would then be passed on to consumers," said Washington State University professor Thomas Marsh, co-chair of the Academy's panel. "We don't know the degree to which these costs would be raised."
The white paper says that about 70 percent of processed foods contain some form of genetically engineered product like corn. It says GMO foods do "not differ" from non-GMO foods when it comes to safety.
Still shoppers we met told us they would like to know if their food contains GMO, even if they have to pay more.
"Well, yes, I could pay a little more," said Bernice Jenkins, "as long as I know what I am eating."
"If the labels are going to give you a clear understanding, then sometimes you have to pay a little bit more to have a clear understanding," said Jason Hibbits.