Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Initiative 522 Coming to the Ballot This November: Learn More at Upcoming Events

This fall, voters in Washington state will get to decide whether or not to label GMOs with Initiative 522.

What is I-522?

Initiative 522 is an effort by local businesses, farmers, and health professionals to expand consumer choice over the food they eat. If passed by Washington voters in November, our state would join over 65 countries worldwide that currently require the labeling of genetically-modified food sold in grocery stores. I-522 is currently being fought by several large agribusiness corporations, who poured millions into a campaign to narrowly defeat a similar measure in California last year.

How Can I Get Involved?

This is a short list of some of the events and opportunities for engagement coming up in Whatcom County between now and the November 5 election. You can also learn more about the ballot measure at the Yes on I-522 campaign website,

A basic overview of the measure, along with arguments for and against, is presented by the League of Women Voters:

If you would like to join a community e-mail list serve that focuses on land use, food and farming issues, please contact Matt Petryni at to get signed up.

Upcoming I-522 Events

"GMO OMG" Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Wednesday, October 9 at 6:00 pm

Pickford Film Center

1318 Bay Street, Bellingham (map)

Tickets at

Director Jeremy Seifert investigates how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affects his young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. Q&A with Steve Crider, Amy’s Kitchen; Courtney Pineau, Non-GMO Project; and Krista Rome, Backyard Beans & Grains Project. Movie information at

Click here to find a Facebook event.

March Against Monsanto and GMO Foods
Saturday, October 12 at 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
O'Donnell's Flea Market
405 East Champion Street, Bellingham (map)

Meet at O'Donnells Flea Market at 1 pm. We will rally and then march downtown to show our global support agsinst Monsanto snd their cohorts. After the march, join us for live music, local speakers, artists. We will also be accepting donations for the Bellingham Food Bank.

Click here to find the Facebook event.

“Genetic Roulette” Film Screening
October 18, 2013 at 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave, Bellingham (map)

This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future. It will be screened in Lynden by Occupy Bellingham.

Check out the trailer here:

GMOs: Your Right to Know
Thursday, October 17 at 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Settlemyer Family Hall, Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham (map)

Join Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project, and Delana Jones, campaign director for Yes on I-522, to hear the inside scoop on GMOs and the I-522 campaign.

Non-GMO Corn Preservation with Krista Rome and Courtney Pineau
Monday, October 21, 6:30-8 pm
Cordata Co-op
315 Westerly Ave, Bellingham
Free: Click here to register.

A free informational session on the Non-GMO Corn Preservation Project. Learn about the importance of preserving sources of locally adapted non-GMO seeds, good varieties of grain corn for the Pacific Northwest, and how to be a seed steward. You’ll also get cooking tips, and hear the results of hand pollination trials. Krista Rome is director of the Backyard Beans & Grains Project, and Courtney Pineau is assistant director of the Non-GMO Project.

Register for this workshop here.

Ballot Issues and Bellingham School Board Forum

Saturday, October 19, at 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Bellingham City Council Chambers
210 Lottie St, Bellingham (map)

This League of Women Voters forum will address state and local ballot measures up for a vote in Whatcom County, including I-522, which would label genetically modified foods and support consumer choice. Also on the agenda are school board candidates and the local schools bonding measure.

Continue the Conversation on GMOs
Wednesday, October 23 at 11:45 pm to 12:45 pm
Community Food Co-op Connections Building
1220 N. Forest St, Bellingham (map)

For League members interested in participating in conversations with other members on "hot topics", we have scheduled a brown bag lunch session that will provide an opportunity to further explore issues about Initiative 522 and GMOs in general. The date is four days after the forum.