GMO labeling ballot initiatives in Colorado and Oregon
Among the first signs of trouble for California’s Proposition 37 and Washington’s Initiative 522 were critical newspaper editorial writers who found flaws in the food-labeling measures, both of which ended up narrowly failing at the ballot box.
But this year in Oregon and Colorado, anyone looking to newspaper editorials for an early cue on how Measure 92 (OR) or Initiative 105 (CO) are going to come out will have to be satisfied with mixed results.
The Eugene Register-Guard in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley, the state’s most influential newspaper outside of Portland, is the first big daily to endorse a ballot measure requiring labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Inurging voters to approve Measure 92, the Register-Guard said that Oregon should be on the “cutting edge” of the GMO-labeling movement.
That position marks a reversal in the R-G’s previous editorial stance on the issue. The newspaper opposed Measure 27 in 2002, which was overwhelming defeated by Oregon voters in every county, opining then that the Beaver State should not be out of sync with national food markets.
This year, the Eugene newspaper says the fact that peer-reviewed scientific studies have found no evidence that GMOs pose a food safety risk to humans “is irrelevant if a problem exists in the minds of a majority of voters.”