Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GMO labeling measure qualifies for ballot

GMO labeling measure qualifies for ballot:

Oregon voters will get their chance to decide whether to require labeling of foods with genetically modified organisms.

The state Elections Division determined today that an initiative measure has qualified for the Nov. 4 statewide ballot.

Voters will face a total of seven measures, though only four are initiatives.

Similar GMO labeling measures were rejected in California in 2012 and Washington in 2013, but only after campaign spending of $46 million and $22 million, the latter a record for Washington state. Oregon voters rejected a GMO measure in 2002.

 Vermont is the only state with a GMO labeling law, but it has been challenged in court even before it takes effect.

Oregon advocates raised and spent more than $1 million, most of it from out-of-state sources, to gather the signatures for the measure.

State elections officials say that through sampling, they verified 118,780 of the 149,588 signatures accepted, far more than the 87,213 required.

Advocates say they expect to be outspent heavily in the general election, but draw hope from resounding victories in Jackson and Josephine counties, where voters approved GMO bans in the May 20 primary election."

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