Oh boy, are we happy to hear about this!
Oregonians will decide in November whether they want to mandate that companies label genetically modified foods.
The Secretary of State's Office Wednesday certified 118,780 signatures — well above the 87,213 needed to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
"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."
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. For raw food, like apples or potatoes, that aren't usually packaged, retailers would need to place a clear label nearby.
It passed, the labeling law would take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
The Oregon Right to Know campaign has raised nearly $1.3 million thanks in large part to national companies and advocacy groups.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps donated $250,000 and Organic Consumers Fund has given $200,000, according to online records from the Secretary of State's Office.
Similiar initiatives were defeated in California and Washington, where opponents massively outspent backers.
The campaign against Washington's Initiative 522 broke state records when it raised $21.4 million in 2013. Supporters of the labeling law raised $6.3 million.
Opponents of the 2012 California initiative spent $46 million.
Oregonians for Food & Shelter, which opposes the GMO labeling initiative, plans to formally announce its opposition campaign soon.
"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."
Article written by Anna Staver, courtesy of the StatesmanJournal.com, found here: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/elections/2014/07/23/gmo-labeling-initiative-qualifies-oregon-ballot/13048771/