Get ready for a food fight.
When Washington voters decide Initiative 522 this fall, they will do more than determine whether to label food
that contains genetically engineered ingredients.
They also will take sides in a national battle that has raged for two decades about the benefits and safety of manipulating the DNA of food — something many people view suspiciously but do not really understand.
“There’s a lot of uneasiness among consumers on the topic,” said Amy Sousa, managing consultant at the consumer research firm Hartman Group in Bellevue. “They don’t like the sound of it but have a difficult time articulating exactly why.”
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Technically, any plant or animal that has been bred for particular characteristics is genetically modified. The difference with so-called GMOs is that their DNA is directly manipulated by inserting or modifying particular genes. Some call such targeted work “genetic engineering.”
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