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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Wash. Governor Undecided On GMO Initiative

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Austin Jenkins
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Northwest News Network files

It’s the hottest issue on Washington’s fall ballot: an initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. But Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, says he hasn’t decided how he’ll vote on Initiative 522.

"I have looked at the scientific literature, and it’s quite consistent to show that there’s no observable nutritional health impacts with GMO foods, and I think there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence in that regard," Inslee says. "But I do know many of my constituents would want to have information about that, so I need to think about this a little bit more."

Inslee says he will vote "no" on the other measure on Washington’s November ballot.

Initiative 517 would give ballot measure sponsors more time to collect signatures. It would also set penalties for interfering with or retaliating against signature-gatherers or petition-signers.

Inslee says he thinks the proposal would intrude on people’s First Amendment rights to express their opinions.

On the Web: 
Online Voters Guide:  https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/press_and_research/PreviousElections/2013/General-Election/Pages/Online-Voters-Guide.aspx