National consumer advocacy group joins fray
FRISCO — Coloradans this November will have a chance to decide whether they want to know if their food includes genetically manipulated foods via a ballot initiative (Proposition 105) that would require GMO labeling.
Giant agribusinesses like Monsanto, who don’t want to see their products stigmatized, oppose the measure, but proponents of the initiative will get some help from the national level, as the Organic Consumers Association pledged $50,000 to support the ballot measure.
“The hard-working activists at Colorado Right to Know have succeeded in getting this critical initiative on the ballot in November,” said Ronnie Cummins,international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate Via Organica. “This is great news for the GMO labeling movement—and bad news for Monsanto and Big Food, which will now have to battle consumers in two states in November—Colorado and Oregon.”
Oregon Right to Know succeeded earlier this summer in getting Ballot Measure 92 on the November ballot, prompting an influx of money from the biotech and processed food industries which have vowed to oppose GMO labeling laws in all states, and at the federal level.
Earlier this year, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) introduced a bill in Congress that would not only preempt state GMO labeling laws, but also legalize the use of the word “natural” on genetically engineered food products.
In May, Vermont passed a mandatory GMO labeling law. Industry, backed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the International Dairy Foods Association, has filed suit to overturn Vermont’s law. Maine and Connecticut passed similar laws in 2013, but those laws contain “trigger” clauses which prevent the laws from being enacted unless neighboring states also pass mandatory labeling laws.