Oregon Voters Will Decide on GMO Food-Labeling

Oregon’s Frankenfood-labeling measure

Oregon Measure 92 The Genetically Engineered Raw and Packaged Food Labeling Act

The Essentials
1. In 2002, Oregon voters rejected a ballot measure that would have required food manufacturers to identify products containing genetically modified ingredients. Now polls show 77 percent of voters supporting a similar food labeling initiative, Measure 92, that’s on the November ballot. Backers cite consumer health concerns and a desire to protect Oregon’s organic food industry.

2. Voters in California rejected a food labeling ballot measure in 2012 after a $46 million campaign against it led by Monsanto and DuPont. In 2013 another measure failed in Washington State after food companies waged the most expensive referendum campaign in state history to defeat it. This year has seen a marked shift in sentiment on food labeling: In May, Vermont became the first state to pass legislation requiring it, followed by Maine and Connecticut.

3. The Oregon measure has attracted support from organic foodmakers including Annie’s Homegrown, the kids’ snack company. In early October, Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield—a backer of the Vermont law—announced the introduction of Food Fight Fudge Brownie, a special GMO-free flavor whose sales will benefit the “yes” campaign in Oregon. Chipotle has thrown its support behind a similar Colorado ballot measure, Proposition 105.

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