July 19, 2018

Oregon GE Labeling Initiative Heads to a Recount

Measure 92, the genetically engineered (GE) food labeling initiative on the ballot this month is headed for a recount because it is too close to call. The gap between Yes and No is less than one tenth of a percentage point.

GMO TomatoAndrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety said in a statement, “thanks to the tireless efforts of on the ground organizer, and despite an aggressive and expensive opposition campaign, GE food labeling is still alive in Oregon. Regardless of what happens next, this is only the beginning. The power and tenaciousness of the Food Movement has been on full display here in Oregon.”

Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow AgroSciences, Pepsi, and Coke together donated almost $15,000,000 to defeat the initiative. The previous record for spending on a ballot initiative in Oregon was $12 million for both sides combined.

Center for Food Safety supports Measure 92 because consumers have the right to know what is in the food they buy. Oregon would be the fourth U.S. state to require GE labeling on foods, joining Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. Connecticut and Maine have trigger clauses in their initiatives, which require other states to pass labeling laws before theirs are implemented.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act to the U.S. Congress in 2013 to make labeling mandatory across the United States. The bill would put the U.S. in line with 64 other countries around the world that require GE labeling, including Australia, China, the EU, Japan, and Russia.

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