MEDFORD, Ore. – The measure to require Oregon to label genetically modified products was approved for the November ballot on Wednesday. The Secretary of State’s Office said the near 119,000 signatures turned in for the initiative were validated. They said just over 87,000 were needed to qualify, and it only took campaigners six weeks to get them all.
If approved, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers would have to label raw and packaged foods produced entirely or partially by genetic engineering. The requirement would begin January of 2016. Similar efforts were voted on in the state of Washington and California, but they did not pass.
A group called Oregonians for Food and Shelter said it will launch a campaign in opposition soon. The executive director of the group, Scott Dahlman, said the proposal would mandate costly and misleading food labeling regulations in Oregon. He said growers will be required to track foods that end up in the state, which is expensive and hard to do since genetically engineered crops can’t be tested in its final product. Dahlman said the only way to know is to track it from the beginning, but this places a burden on everyone throughout the supply chain.
“The Center for Food Safety is committed to this issue because we believe that one of the great freedoms we have as Americans is the basic right to choose what foods we feed our families,” said Aurora Paulson from the Center for Food Safety and a co-petitioner for Measure 92.
This measure is the last that will qualify for the November Election.
The other six include:
- Creating a top two primary voting system.
- Amend the constitution to require equal rights among all.
- Allow judges to join the National Guard or hold teacher positions
- Create a special scholarship fund for low-income children
- Allow immigrants to get drivers licenses
- Legalize the sale and taxing of recreational marijuana.