Effort Underway in State Legislature to Consider GMO Labeling

You may recall that last December the Bastyr University Center for Health Policy and Leadership hosted a special event on a policy initiative on genetically modified foods (GMO) labeling.  During that event, we met the leadership of “GMO Free Washington” and learned about a draft of legislation that could potentially be considered by the Washington State Legislature which is currently in session in Olympia, WA. 

For those of you who have a particular interest in the GMO labeling issue, I bring you positive news.  We have learned that a bi-partisan effort is underway in the House of Representatives and the Senate to consider GMO labeling legislation.  Two important events will take place this week including:

  • The Washington Senate Committee on Agriculture will hold a hearing on the issue (in the form of Senate Bill 6298) this Thursday, January 26 at 10:00 AM.
  • The Washington House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on the issue (in the form of House Bill 2637) this Friday, January 27 at 8:00 AM.

For those who want to get involved, here is an easy and effective way.  Please consider making a quick call or drafting a brief email to the chairs of each respective committee.

For the Senate Agriculture Committee, the contact is:

Senator Brian Hatfield (whose committee will consider SB 6298)

For the House Agriculture Committee, the contact is:

Representative Brian Blake (whose committee will consider HB 2637)

What say or write? 

  • First, thank them for allowing the GMO labeling legislation to be heard in their committees.  This is an important first step and it would not be happening without their leadership.  Acknowledge this from the start.
  • Second, urge them to use their influence as committee chairs to pass the GMO labeling legislation so that the legislation may receive an up or down vote on the floors of the Senate and the House.
  • Third, if you would like to elaborate on the specific concerns around GMO’s, use the information found on the following link:  http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs

This information was presented at last December’s CHPL event and is very compelling.

I have also learned that GMO Free Washington is organizing a lobbying effort this week to be held at the State Capitol.  If you would like to participate in some grass roots advocacy efforts or simply learn more about GMO Free Washington, please go to their site:  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e5hef8bfd71360f1&llr=h4hsqkiab

Don’t hesitate to call or email me if you have questions. 

Posted by Gregory J. Goode, Chief of Staff on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 4:33pm


The Bastyr University Center for Health Policy and Leadership (CHPL) is a nonpartisan, University-based center dedicated to advancing the understanding of health policy and leadership issues. The Center:

  • Creates on-campus and external opportunities for participation in "essential, generative conversations."
  • Hosts prominent scholars and health practitioners in discussion-oriented events.
  • Provides a forum for scholarly research on health policy and leadership issues.
  • Encourages citizens to actively participate in public affairs through experiential programs.