GMO Labeling Campaign Officially Defeated in Oregon by Less than 800 Votes


After a long, promising battle to bring GMO labeling to Oregon, the Yes on 92 Campaign has conceded defeat by a narrow margin.

The measure went into an automatic recount earlier this month after the November vote came within 800 votes of victory for the pro-GMO labeling campaign. But the official recount only found 25 more votes in favor of GMO labeling and zero more against the measure.

Measure 92 was the most expensive voter campaign in Oregon’s history, but the No on 92 Campaign, funded by Big Ag and Big Food companies, still outspent the Yes camp and eked out the narrowest victory yet.

As the vote went into the recount, the Yes Campaign filed a lawsuit in Multnomah County, arguing that “the state and Multnomah County unfairly rejected about 4,600 valid ballots because the signatures on the ballots didn’t match voter card signatures on file,” the Oregonian reported. The Yes camp claims those voters were not given time to resubmit their ballots. But the judge presiding over the case rejected that effort, invalidating those votes.

The Yes on 92 Campaign also says that the No Campaign illegally recruited out-of-state residents to observe the recount. Oregon law requires recount observers to be Oregon residents.

“[O]ne of the observers that Measure 92 opponents put forth in Marion County was a man named John Hewitt from Virginia,” RT reported. “The director of state affairs for the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, a powerful trade group that protects the interests of GMO-labeling opponents, is also named John Hewitt.”

GMO labeling bills have passed in Connecticut and Maine as well as Vermont where lawsuits are currently underway in efforts to have the bill overturned.

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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