West Seattle Wednesday: ‘Next Fall’ opening night; 34th Dems take on GMOs…

March 13, 2013 at 11:08 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 7 Comments

Red-breasted Merganser near Alki Beach

(Red-breasted merganser photographed near Alki by Danny McMillin; shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Five highlights for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BOOK FAIR: All West Seattle families are welcome at a book fair under way till 4 pm to help boost reading skills for school success. It’s at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way).

CO-WORKING IN WEST SEATTLE: WS Office Junction invites you to Mind Unwind (2206 California SW), noon-1 pm today, to talk about ongoing plans, work parties, and more as they advance toward a long-term co-working space in West Seattle.

JOB SEARCH WORKSHOP: Today 3:30-5 pm at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), take a look at whether starting your own business might be your best option for working and making a living. The workshop’s free; details in our calendar listing.

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: West Seattle’s largest political organization meets tonight at 7 at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), with the agenda (see it here) including an initiative to require labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the formal endorsement of King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s re-election campaign.

‘NEXT FALL’ PREMIERES: 7:30 pm at ArtsWest, it’s opening night for the Seattle premiere of “Next Fall,” a Tony-nominated play directed by Cindy Bradder and starring Christopher Zinovitch.

LOTS MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT … on our frequently updated calendar – take a look!

7 Comments

  1. Looks like they’re all set to endorse I-522. Too bad they have no idea what it says. Apparently they think it would make farmers label their products prior to export. It only applies to retail sale within the state. There is absolutely no mention of producers labeling food for export, wholesale, or production. I-522 is an awful idea that targets the wrong people.

    Comment by VBD — 1:18 pm March 13, 2013 #

  2. Woah. Thanks for the great photo(s) of birds, Danny.

    Comment by Honey Bees — 7:23 pm March 13, 2013 #

  3. I think that labeling food products that contain GMO’s is a good idea. I WANT to know what is in my food and/or how it is produced. I read labels on the packaging to see if the foods I buy contain trans-fats, for example. I want to be able to have the same information concerning GMO’s. For a lot of people, they might not pay attention to the label- and that is fine, that is their choice. But I also want to be allowed to make an informed choice on what I am purchasing, and labeling at the retail level is the only way to do that with non-organic foods. (Unless the product has gone through the Non-GMO certification process and is designated as such).

    Comment by Nitro — 9:38 pm March 13, 2013 #

  4. Thanks, Honey Bees!

    Comment by Danny McMillin — 5:48 am March 14, 2013 #

  5. Nitro, I suggest you actually read the text of I-522. The law would not require anywhere near the level of detail you think it would. It would not tell you what is in the food, how much is in there or even if there is a reasonable level of certainty.

    The mandated label, “may be partially produced with genetic engineering” is so utterly ambiguous, that it provides absolutely no assurance to the consumer, and does not present a reasonable basis for choice. This is the phrase that would appear on the vast majority of the products in the typical grocery store.

    The law would declare that the only way to demonstrate that a food product does not require a label is by having a sworn statement, USDA Organic certification, or a GMO-Free test certification. Since the only place a violation of the labeling law can occur is when the food is “offered for retail sale”, enforcement cannot occur anywhere but at the retail level. This means the typical store would need to either remove a substantial amount of food from their shelves, or attempt to pressure out of state suppliers to label the food, or supply a sworn affidavit declaring the food is GE-free. Failure to do so could result in a substantial fine.

    Imagine a store like the Husky Deli. They stock processed foods from all over the world. Practically none of it is USDA organic or certified GMO-free. If a foreign country has a GMO label law, that does not relieve them of the obligation of having to supply affidavits. There is certainly no exemption in I-522 saying anything about foreign packaged foods. There is no way to get an affidavit from every international supplier, and that puts the store at risk. If not for a violation directly, they may be at risk of being told they can no longer sell certain products – or even MOST of their products.

    Plus, even if the food WAS labeled for GMOs per their local laws, the labels would not necessarily be compliant with I-522. It says the label must ABSOLUTELY be on the front of the package, with VERY specific wording. NO internationally labeled products would conform to I-522’s rule. There are no other options for labeling of packaged food other than the two phrases specified.

    Regardless of whether you believe GMOs are bad for you, I-522′s approach to labeling is ridiculous.

    Comment by VBD — 9:28 am March 14, 2013 #

  6. The bird actually appears to be a Common Merganser, rather than a Red-breasted. Despite their name Common Mergansers are much less common on saltwater than Red-breasted. The sharp contrast where the gray chest and rusty head meet is the key mark.

    Comment by JumboJim — 7:12 pm March 14, 2013 #

  7. Forgot to say thanks for the beautiful pic Danny!

    Comment by JumboJim — 7:13 pm March 14, 2013 #

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