‘This Is Only the Beginning’: Oregon GMO Labeling Measure Heads to Recount

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Oregon’s Measure 92, which would require labeling of certaing GMO foods, is headed to a recount. (Photo: Pamela Drew/cc/flickr)

Advocates of labeling genetically modified foods are cheering that an Oregon measure that would require such labeling is headed to an automatic recount.

Measure 92, as Common Dreams reported earlier this month, would mandate that beginning January 2016, certain food items that were produced with or contain GMOs, also referred to as genetically engineered (GE) food, would be labeled as such.

Despite the Yes on 92 campaign being greatly outspent, the final tally showed Monday that the effort was defeated by only 0.06 percentage point, less than the threshold needed to trigger a recount.

The Oregonian reports that the recount will take place by December 12.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of on the ground organizers, and despite an aggressive and expensive opposition campaign, GE food labeling is still alive in Oregon,” stated Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, an organization that was a lead author of Measure 92. “The power and tenaciousness of the Food Movement has been on full display here in Oregon,” he added.

Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesperson for Yes on Measure 92, stated this week:  “Oregonians saw through the No side’s false and cynical scare tactics and stood up for transparency and accountability in our food system.”

Though, as the Associated Press notes, the odds are not in favor of the recount shifting to be in favor of the Yes side, labeling advocates see hope for their movement.

Kimbrell stated: “Regardless of what happens next, this is only the beginning.”

Kaushik echoed that sentiment, stating that “regardless of the final outcome of the mandatory recount, the labeling issue is not going away. This movement continues to grow and build support across this state and around the country, and that growth will continue.”

“Those of us who support labeling and backed Measure 92 see this as an effort that will get stronger and stronger until we reach the day when every American is provided the information they need to make informed decisions about the food they eat and feed their families,” Kaushik stated.

If the measure passes, Oregon would become the fourth state to require the labeling of GMOs.

Reprinted with permission from Common Dreams.