Signature gathering begins for Oregon GMO labeling initiative
Supporters of an Oregon ballot initiative to require labeling of foods with genetically modified organisms have cleared another legal hurdle, allowing them to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
The move comes on the heels of defeat of similar bills in Washington state and California.
The Oregon Supreme Court Nov. 27 dismissed a challenge to the ballot title, according to court records.
Under the ballot proposal, foods that contain GMOs and are not labeled as such are considered "misbranded."
The proposal also would allow citizens to sue to enforce labeling.
The wording of the Oregon proposal is very similar to that of a recent Washington ballot initiative.
Scott Bates, a Tigard software architect who also heads GMO Free Oregon, says his group was also drafting an alternative measure that might soften criticism from the food and biotechnology industries, according to a Dec. 6 article on Oregonlive.com, the online version of the Portland Oregonian newspaper.
The Washington initiative lost by slightly more than 38,000 votes, or 51.1 percent against and 48.9 percent in favor.
Turn-out in the off-election year was only 45 percent.
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