The Oregon Right to Know campaign has collected more than 118,788 signatures, in order to place a genetically modified bill on the ballot. The labeling bill called initiative 44 would require all food produced with genetically engineered ingredients to include the words “Genetically Engineered” on the front or back of their packages. Food that is not packaged would require a clear label nearby.The GMO initiative was the last to qualify for the November ballot. There will be a total of seven statewide measures to go before Oregon voters.
“In only six weeks, we were able to collect more than 31,500 signatures more than the number needed to qualify,” said Sandeep Kaushik, campaign spokesman for Oregon Right to Know.”That is a powerful indication that Oregonians understand that protecting the profits of chemical conglomerates and agribusiness giants should not take precedence over the public’s right to know what is in the food they eat and feed their families.”
The labeling campaign has raised nearly $1.3 million thanks in large part to national companies and advocacy groups. There will be a total of seven statewide measures to go before Oregon voters.
The opposition to the bill comes from Oregonians for Food & Shelter, which opposes the GMO labeling initiative, citing costly labeling practices.
“This proposal would mandate costly and misleading food labeling regulations in Oregon that don’t exist in any other state — hurting Oregon farmers and food producers, and costing taxpayers and consumers millions,” said Scott Dahlman, executive director for OFS. “We expect a strong coalition of Oregonians from all parts of the state will join together to defeat this measure.”