Proponents of mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods have spent $630,000 to collect signatures and get a ballot initiative before Oregon voters in November.
Supporters of mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods have spent $630,000 on collecting signatures and expect to get a ballot initiative before Oregon voters in November.
“We will have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot,” said Sandeep Kaushik, spokesman for the Oregon GMO Right to Know petition committee. “The signatures have been coming in at a fairly rapid clip.”
Over the past two months, the committee has paid about $630,000 to Fieldworks, a professional signature-gathering company, according to campaign finance records.
Labeling proponents face a short time frame to gather the 87,000 signatures needed to get the proposed initiative on the ballot.
They didn’t begin circulating petitions for the proposed initiative until May 15, roughly a month and a half before the July 3 deadline to turn in signatures.
The late start was due to repeated revisions to the initiative language — the petition currently being circulated is the third version submitted to election authorities.
Kaushik said the changes were necessary to buttress the proposed initiative from misleading arguments by labeling critics.
“It was done very much as a way of limiting our opponents’ abilities to make the false attacks they’ve made in the past,” he said.