The GMO labeling battleground moves to Oregon

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Advocates for genetically modified food labeling are not dwelling on recent losses in California and Washington. Instead they are moving on to the next battleground state, Oregon.

Oregon advocates are moving forward with a couple of GMO labeling initiatives for the 2014 general election.

Oregon is not the only state pushing ahead with GMO labeling bills. Hawaii’s Kauai County Council voted on Saturday to override the mayor’s veto of its GMO bill. But lawmakers in New York are also looking to offer a bill on GM labeling soon. So, far only Connecticut and Maine have passed legislation, but their bills won’t take effect until other states approve similar bills.

“We expect to see legislative proposals around the country, and we will continue to work to educate and engage with legislators,” said Louis Finkel, executive vice president for government affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. This organization wants a national standard to be set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Oregon measure is already being challenged. Oregonians for Food and Shelter has sued the state challenging the ballot title of one of the initiatives and the constitutionality of the other measure. The group claims to “protect those who responsibly use pest-management products, soil nutrients and biotechnology from government over-regulation.”

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Spokane Valley, Wa  |  November, 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM

A tremendous amount of money was spent by industry and food producers to defeat the initiative in Washington State. As an industry we are not doing a good job of reaching and educating the general public about the safety and great advantages of GMO food. The fear industry groups have been able to plant the seeds of how GMO foods are poisoning the earth, the children, and even the bees. We could spend half the money it takes to be in a defensive position on the anti-GMO bills and inititatives by pro-actively running TV spots that can reach the general public. We have a story to tell - let's tell it!

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