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Groups Aim to Put GMO Food Labeling Measure on the Ballot in Oregon

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Oregon News Page.

Undeterred by the failure of GMO labeling measures in Washington and California, advocate groups have launched a campaign to put a similar statewide measure on the November ballot in Oregon.

A group called Oregon Right To Know announced Thursday that it will be collecting signatures for an initiative that would require new labels on foods made with genetically engineered ingredients -- often called genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

Among the campaign's supporters are Food & Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety, OSPIRG and Whole Foods.

"We should have the right to choose whether we want to buy and eat genetically engineered food," said Aurora Paulsen with the Center for Food Safety in announcing the petition.

The group will need to gather 87,213 valid signatures by July 3 to put the issue on the ballot in November.

David Rosenfeld, executive director of OSPIRG, said he's not worried about getting enough signatures by the deadline, but he is bracing for a fight against opponents of the measure between now and November.

"We know from past experience that the big chemical companies that manufacture GMOs, like Monsanto and Dow, will spend millions to try to confuse the issue and block Oregon residents from being able to decide for themselves whether or not to eat GMOs," he said. "Our side is not going to win by countering Monsanto dollar for dollar. We'll win by talking to hundreds of thousands of Oregonians face to face, person to person, Oregonian to Oregonian. That's what we're going to do."