If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. At least that seems to be the approach taken by Big Organic in its continued crusade for the unnecessary mandatory labeling of genetically improved foods (GIFs), also called GMOs.
Big Organic uses unfounded fear to try and sell labeling as in the interest of improving public health. However, as we’ve detailed before, forcing food producers to stamp all of their products with a shiny new label would do nothing of the sort. Rather, it would simply lead to fewer choices and higher prices. It could even increase the use of certain pesticides, since the “organic” products that GMO labels would probably benefit use pesticides too.
The latest attempt to fool consumers is Measure 92 in Oregon. Measure 92 would require all foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be marked with a new label. This is similar to measures that were defeated in Washington and California. If recent polling is any indication, Measure 92 will likely suffer the same fate.
According to a national survey conducted by the New York Times, 93% of Americans support the labeling of GMOs. Why then have these measures failed to pass in granola-friendly places like Washington and California?
The answer lies in a survey conducted by Rutgers University, which found that the majority of Americans know “very little or nothing at all” about GMOs. Once people are educated about GMOs, they learn they have nothing to fear.
Big Organic’s effort to convince voters in Oregon to support Measure 92 has informed them of the facts behind GMOs. Perhaps that’s why Oregonians and 13 of the 17 largest newspapers in Oregon oppose Measure 92.