September 22, 2023

More Food Safety Election Day News

The election may be over, but the food movement is still making news about ballot initiatives and members of Congress. In Oregon, the initiative to label genetically engineered foods is still too close to call. Measure 92 is only 6,900 votes behind, and enough absentee ballots are still outstanding that it may pass. The ballots will be counted until November 18.

CongressIn Maui, voters passed an initiative to “prohibit the growth, testing, or cultivation of genetially engineered crops” until environmental and public health studies show they are safe. The opposition, consisting mostly Monsanto and Dow Chemical, spent $362 per vote and still lost. Voters in California’s Humboldt County also voted to ban GE crops from their farmlands. Four other counties in California already ban these crops.

Most of the food safety leaders in Congress were re-elected. Rep. Peter Defazio (D-OR), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) all won re-election. They are the four co-chairs of the House Organic Caucus. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) was re-elected. She is a vocal opponent of genetically engineered crops, publicizing the link between increased herbicide use and those crops, and the dramatic decline of monarch butterfly populations. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also won; she is a longtime food safety advocate. Rep. Louise Slaughter’s race is still too close to call.

In the Senate, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was re-elected. She is an advocate for organic farming. Senator Jeff Merkely (D-OR), who voted to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act, won. And Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who backs small family farmers and pollinator protection, won. In addition, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) won. They are advocates for environmental protection and food justice.


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