Oregon consumers have the right to know whether or not the food they purchase was produced using genetic engineering. Genetic engineering of plants and animals often causes unintended consequences. Manipulating genes and inserting them into organisms is an imprecise process. The results are not always predictable or controllable, and they can lead to adverse health or environmental consequences.
Fifty countries including the European Union and Japan have laws mandating that genetically engineered foods be labeled, but the United States does not have such a requirement. Public opinion polls indicate that over 90 percent of American voters support the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
The Oregon Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food initiative follows in the footsteps of the current California initiative ( http://www.labelgmos.org ) and is joined by similar legislation efforts earlier this year in Vermont and Connecticut. All four, including ours here in Oregon strive to address the lack of GMO labeling and consumer knowledge by requiring that:
- Processed foods that contain GMO derived ingredients be labeled as containing genetically engineered food
- Foods about to come on the market that are wholly themselves a genetically modified organism (Corn-on-the-cobb, Salmon) be clearly labled as genetically engineered
- The labeling, advertising and marketing of genetically engineered foods using terms such as “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” or “all natural” is misleading to consumers and therefor GMO products cannot be labeled as such.
You can read the full text of the initative here: Oregon Right to Know Genetically Engineered Foods