labeling

Colorado's GMO labeling measure Prop 105 to be voted on in November


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(NaturalNews) Activists and concerned citizens in the state of Colorado have succeeded in having a proposal placed on the November ballot that, if approved by a majority of the general public, would make it mandatory to label genetically modified foods, according to a recent announcement by the secretary of state's office.

As reported by The Washington Post, the measure's backers submitted nearly 40,000 more valid signatures to state officials than the required 86,105. The measure is called Proposition 105.

The Post noted that, already, groups and corporations are lining up to oppose Prop 105:

The placement of the measure on the ballot could bring a huge wave of corporate spending, as was seen last fall in Washington state last year. Despite early signs that it would pass, the measure was ultimately defeated in Washington as an infusion of corporate spending flooded the state making the initiative campaign the most expensive in state history.

Opposition groups there and elsewhere were largely funded by food mega-corporations including PepsiCo, Nestle, Coca-Cola and General Mills. Lobbying groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and biotech giants like DuPont and Monsanto -- two of the biggest GMO makers -- have also lined up to oppose labeling efforts. The Post said that, in Washington state, two groups that were opposed to the labeling initiative there spent a small fortune -- $33 million -- to defeat it, while groups supporting the labeling drive spent $10 million.

Necessary for an 'informed decision'

There will be other states, too, that will have GMO labeling measures before voters in the fall. A GMO labeling ballot initiative has been approved and will go before voters in Oregon this fall. Also, as Natural News readers know, Vermont was the first state to pass a labeling law, though it has been tied up in court by some of the same groups and corporations that spent heavily to defeat Washington's effort.

When Vermont lawmakers wrote their bill, they were so anticipatory of pushback by some of the usual corporate and lobbyist suspects that they also created a $1.5 million legal defense fund. And, right on cue, about a month after it was signed into law, an anti-labeling lawsuit was filed by groups representing grocery and food manufacturers, as well as the dairy industry, snack industry and most other food sectors. These groups complain about the "cost" of GMO labeling, but when they already have to label every single other food item -- including, by the way, bottled water -- their pushback rings hollow. They simply don't want to tell you what's in GMO foods.

An organization called Right to Know Colorado is spearheading the labeling measure.

On its website, the group says that the initiative is necessary because it will help "Coloradans make informed decisions about the foods they choose for their families."

The 93 percent

"This historic achievement is only possible because of the thousands of hours volunteers contributed to this effort," said Right to Know Colorado campaign Chair Larry Cooper, in a press release posted on the site. "We had more than 500 people collect signatures throughout the state with signatures from every county in the state. The people of Colorado made this happen."

"Thank you again to the hundreds of volunteers and the 171,370 people who signed in support of labeling GMOs," added campaign issue committee Co-chair Tryna Cooper. "Now we look toward to November and need your support."

She further asked for volunteers to support efforts to get voters to the polls to cast ballots in favor of the initiative.

As reported by Right to Know Colorado, a New York Times survey recently found that an astounding supermajority of Americans -- 93 percent -- support GMO labeling.

Those survey results are here: NYTimes.com.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.righttoknowcolorado.org

http://ago.vermont.gov [PDF]

http://www.nytimes.com

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