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Biotech labeling nixed

Some 73% of Oregon voters in the November election rejected mandatory labeling for all biotech foods. Ballot Measure 27 would have required any food or beverage produced with genetically modified material to be labeled as such, whether or not the material is in the final product.

Furthermore, any GM ingredient or substance used in food processing or packaging would have triggered the labeling requirement.

An education campaign by the Coalition Against the Costly Labeling Law explained that GM foods are no different from their conventional counterparts and that the labeling requirement would result in higher costs without providing a benefit to consumers.

Food industry associations praised the vote, calling it precedent setting.“Oregonians faced a clear choice,” said C. Manly Molpus, president and CEO of Grocery Manufacturers of America. “They were asked directly whether they would favor mandatory labeling of all biotech foods, and they said no. Instead, they chose to rely upon FDA labeling requirements and the new USDA organic certification program to provide consumers who prefer to avoid biotech with options to do so.”

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