SALEM, Ore. — Supporters of mandatory labeling for genetically modified foods have collected more than 155,000 signatures to get an initiative on the Oregon ballot in November.
The number of signatures is far larger than the 87,000 necessary, proponents said during a July 2 press conference in front of the Oregon State Capitol.
“This is the right thing to do, this is the democratic thing to do, this is the Oregon thing to do. Just label it,” said Ray Seidler, who identified himself as a former microbiologist from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have been associated with increased pesticide use, which is expected to cause more cancer cases, said Dr. Martin Donohoe, of the nonprofit group Physicians for Social Responsibility.
“I don’t want my daughter to be one of those cases of cancer,” he said.
Opponents of the proposed ballot initiative say the labeling scheme is “costly and misleading.”
Scott Dahlman, executive director of the Oregonians for Food and Shelter industry group, said mandatory labeling for GMOs will increase grocery prices for Oregon families.
“This is all for a flawed food labeling system that would only exist in Oregon and is so badly written that it wouldn’t even give consumers reliable information about which foods are actually made with GMOs and which aren’t,” he said in a press release.