Frankentrees Engineers Confronted by Protesters in Washington

Oregon State Initiative Gains

Oregon has a history of progressive politics. It is again leading
the way on getting legislation on a statewide ballot to require the
mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. There is a
strong likelihood that a citizens initiative drive in Oregon will be
successful in gathering the 67,000 signatures of legally registered
voters it needs by the July 5, 2002, deadline. The initiative will
then appear on the November 2002 ballot for consumers in
Oregon to decide whether on not they want labeling on genetically
engineered foods in their state.

The group leading the effort is Portland-based Oregon Concerned
Citizens For Safe Foods. The management of The Campaign to
Label Genetically Engineered Foods has put together a web site for
these Oregon activists at:

Emerald Valley Kitchen of Eugene, Oregon has hired a part-time staff
person to coordinate efforts on the initiative drive in the southern part
of the state. Other supporting groups and companies are listed on their
Friends/Links web page at:

On Saturday, August 4th, activist Ralph Nader was in Portland, Oregon
where he spoke to a audience of over 7,000 people. Earlier in the day,
educational workshops were held. Craig Winters, Executive Director of
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods, journeyed from
Seattle to Portland to give a presentation on genetically engineered foods
at one of the workshops.

During the evening presentation, Mr. Nader enthusiastically supported the
Oregon labeling initiative. At a special meeting afterwards, Craig Winters
spoke with Ralph Nader about both the national and Oregon labeling
initiatives. The following Monday, The New York Times included a
photograph of the two speaking.

(In the background of the photo is Donna Harris, one of the two chief
petitioners for the Oregon initiative, and her son, Brandon. Donna and
Brandon are wearing t-shirts that say "Give Oregon A Choice - Label
Genetically Engineered Foods." They presented a t-shirt to Ralph Nader.
Special thanks to Emerald Valley Kitchen for funding the production of
300 t-shirts.)

Mr. Nader told Winters that if the Oregon labeling initiative passes, we
can expect it will be challenged as a violation of interstate commerce.
Nevertheless, Nader said it was important to support and encouraged
Oregon citizens to help gather signatures to get it on the ballot.

Oregon Concerned Citizens For Safe Food has a goal of getting the needed
signatures by January 1, 2002 to allow plenty of time to prepare for the November
election effort.

If the initiative does get on the ballot, we can expect the pro-biotech supporters
to spend millions of dollars in television, radio and print advertising in an effort
to defeat it. However, with national polls showing 80%-90%+ of citizens
desiring labeling of genetically modified foods, we are confident the bill will
pass into law regardless of the propaganda from the opposition.

The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods fully supports the Oregon
initiative effort and encourages everyone reading this in Oregon to get involved
with gathering signatures. Or if you live in another state and have friends in Oregon,
make sure you let them know about this initiative campaign. Thanks!

Note: Other labeling efforts are taking place in Washington State and Colorado.
While The Campaign encourages all state labeling efforts, we are focusing support
on Oregon because we feel it has the best opportunity to make it on the ballot
of any state in the country.

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