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Supporters Of Oregon Food Labeling Measure Concede Defeat

Elections workers in Salem hand-count Marion County ballots.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
Elections workers in Salem hand-count Marion County ballots.

Supporters of a food labeling measure in Oregon have conceded defeat, more than one month after the election.

Measure 92 would have required food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. It produced the most expensive initiative campaign in Oregon history.

The difference between the "no" and "yes" votes was so close, it triggered the first statewide recount in more than six years. But that recount is largely confirming the initial totals.

The final margin is still being determined, but it looks like it's going to be about 800 votes. That's extremely close in a statewide election in which more than 1.5 million votes were cast. But ultimately you only need to win by one, and in this case the No on 92 campaign came out victorious.

The Yes on 92 campaign said it won't pursue a potential legal challenge to the election results. A judge in Portland this week turned down an attempt to block certification of the recount.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
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.