GMOs and litigation

EDITOR: Thursday's article regarding the GMO labeling bill by state Sen. Noreen Evans mentions a very important aspect of this legislation. Sen. Lois Wolk said that she "has concerns that provisions in the bill allowing people to sue for alleged violation . . . could lead to mischief."

She is right to be concerned. This would open the door to frivolous lawsuits against retailers and suppliers of any size by unscrupulous attorneys in need of generating income through settlements that would not really address any potential problems.

This already happens with small businesses and municipalities under a similar provision in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Someone sues (or merely threatens to sue), and the accused settles for cash "legal fees" without the underlying issue ever being really addressed. Settlements are often made for purely economic reasons — to avoid legal defense expenses — and don't settle the underlying issues. Allowing another arena for this predatory type action is not a benefit to consumers. This provision is why I voted against the GMO initiative when it was on the ballot.

I would support GMO labeling, as the consumer has a right to know and decide which product to buy but not when the unintended consequence can be unreasonable lawsuits and meaningless labels.