Monday, July 7, 2014

2002: Food industry campaigns against Oregon labeling proposal News:

By PATRICIA CALLAHAN, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, 09/30/2002: Buried among six other ballot measures in Oregon this November is an initiative that could upend the way the U.S. food industry operates.

Measure 27, the first of its kind to go before U.S. voters, would do what Congress and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have declined to do -- require food companies to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. About 70% of processed food contains genetically modified corn, soybeans or some other crop, according to food industry groups. Such crops -- which haven't been shown to cause health problems -- resist pests and weed killers and are easier for farmers to grow.

National polls repeatedly have shown that when asked if they would like to see information about genetically modified ingredients on food labels, an overwhelming majority of consumers answer "yes." Organizers of the Oregon measure collected more than 100,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

"If the food is so safe and the technology is great, why not put a label on it and let me have a choice?" says Donna Harris, a Portland mother who formed Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Foods, the group leading the labeling campaign.

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