Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Colorado and Washington voting on hemp and GMOs

PBS NewHour reports on initiatives I've missed so far in States' voters weigh GMO labeling, marijuana tax measure.

Gwen Ifill gets an update on two states putting critical initiatives on the ballot Tuesday. Enrique Cerna of KCTS in Seattle offers insight on a Washington measure that would require the labeling of GMO foods. Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio talks about two tax initiatives there, one concerning recreational marijuana.
I've covered Colorado's legalization of marijuana in Meanwhile, at the bottom of the ballot, so I won't write about it more here today.  However, I do have more to say about GMOs, or rather, Rutgers University does.

Most Americans Pay Little Attention to Genetically Modified Foods, Survey Says
Lots of money, not much public awareness, in GM food debate
Friday, November 1, 2013
A national survey shows that most Americans pay little attention to the debate over genetically modified foods, despite extensive media coverage of the issue.

The survey, released by researchers at Rutgers University, found that more than half (53 percent) say they know very little or nothing at all about genetically modified (GM) foods, and one in four (25 percent) say they have never heard of them. Even with the media attention resulting from recent ballot initiatives in California (Proposition 37) and Washington State (Initiative 522) and legislative actions in at least 20 other states that would require labeling of GM foods, the Rutgers study found that only about a quarter (26 percent) of Americans realize that current regulations do not require GM products to be labeled.

“Americans do care about what’s in their food, and they do read labels,” said William Hallman, professor of human ecology in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and lead author of the study. “Eighty-two percent of the respondents told us they sometimes or frequently or always read food labels. But determining what labeling information they value is not a straightforward task. Whether consumers say they want GM food labels depends on how you ask the question, so we asked about it in several ways.”
Looks like the advocates of GMO labeling have a lot of work to do.  In the meantime, the results of the initiative in Washington should be interesting no matter how the vote turns out.

I also covered marriage equality in Meanwhile, at the bottom of the ballot.  There's a related issue on the ballot here in Royal Oak, Proposal A, the approval of the city's Human Rights Ordinance.  I have stories about the campaigns for and against that measure, but I'll save them until after I vote (yes, of course).  See you then!

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