Friday, October 18, 2013
GMO labeling: Washington's big-money battle could reverberate in Oregon, elsewhere | OregonLive.com:
Joann Hare, a retired dog groomer, says genetically modified foods seem weird and she would like them clearly labeled so she can avoid them.
“We’re consuming stuff we didn’t even make 50 years ago,” Hare, 63, says as she hefts a large bag of Costco cat food into the back of her car.
But she’s not sure she can support the initiative on Washington’s Nov. 5 ballot that would require labeling. After reading a mailing from the opposition, she says, she worries it might be an exemption-riddled mess.
“They’re trying to confuse you,” Hare says of the $22.8 million fight over Initiative 522 that’s pumping TV ads and mailings into Washington homes. “That’s what they’re trying to do.”
Hare wasn’t the only Clark County grocery shopper interviewed this week to say she hadn’t thought much about the issue before. But as the big money indicates, a lot is at stake, with the bulk of the money flowing in from out of state. The food and biotech industry has spent more than $17 million fighting the measure. Backers of the burgeoning organic food movement are running their own sophisticated – albeit outfinanced -- $5.6 million campaign in favor.
They all know that how the fight plays out in Washington could reverberate in the rest of the country, including in Oregon, where activists hope to qualify their own labeling initiative for the 2014 ballot.
Posted by JOlmsted at 7:24 AM