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Oregon Could Be Next GMO Labeling Battleground

USDA

Washington voters decide Tuesday whether food containing genetically modified organisms should be labeled. Activists in Oregon are planning their own initiative.

It could be on the ballot in 2014.

The Oregon petition is similar to Washington's Initiative 522. It would require most food sold in Oregon to indicate whether it contains genetically modified organisms.

Scott Bates from GMO Free Oregon, the group that’s trying to get the petition on the ballot, says their efforts will continue regardless of the outcome in Washington this week.

"There's a growing segment of the population that is concerned about the possible health effects of GMOs and would like to be able to choose not to eat GMOs."

An agricultural industry organization plans to fight the petition if it makes the ballot. Scott Dahlman, the director of the group Oregonians for Food and Shelter says consumers can already avoid GMO's by purchasing organic items.

He says a state-by-state patchwork of labeling regulations would be a logistical nightmare for food producers.

Copyright 2013 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.