Earlier this year, we reported on an unusual development: Forbes Magazine observed a sharp uptick in left-liberal pushback against initiatives requiring mandatory labels on genetically improved foods (GIFs), also called GMOs. At the time, we wondered how this growth in Democratic opposition to GIF labels would play out in November, when Oregon and Colorado voters would decide on mandatory labelling initiatives.
The votes are in, and it looks like science has triumphed in both states: The labeling ballot measure is likely to fail in Oregon’s recount, and Colorado’s measure was decisively squashed.
How squashed? The measure lost in arch-liberal Boulder County, home of the University of Colorado.
Superficially, the outcome in Boulder County might seem like a mild blow. After all, the label measure was rejected by a slim margin of 51.1 to 48.9 percent in the county, compared to a much wider 65.5 to 34.5 percent statewide margin.
Still, consider this: Anti-GIF quacktivists typically defend mandatory labels as extension of the consumer’s so-called “right to know,” a position characteristically espoused by the political left. That’s why Boulder County—a liberal hotbed where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one—would seem like the ideal breeding ground for Big Green Greed.
The Big Green Political Machine expected—incorrectly, it seems—that liberal and progressive voters would automatically rally behind the anti-GIF initiative. (No matter how expensive, misleading, or counterproductive that initiative may be.)
This smug self-confidence insults the intelligence of Coloradan voters. As Forbes report explains, “The most enlightened liberal thinkers and the progressive publications in key states are joining with the science establishment to oppose mandatory labeling.” It makes sense, then, that Boulder County—whose economy is “defined by intensely knowledge-based institutions and businesses”—would choose science over anti-GIF shills.