Optimism alive for GMO labeling

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Optimism alive for GMO labeling

by Rachel Zatterstrom, WCC Organizer

WCC joins the statewide coalition, Right to Know Colorado, in thanking volunteers and members for their dedication and hard work during our campaign to label genetically engineered foods in Colorado.

While we didn’t win at the ballot box, we did successfully join with neighbors, family and friends to start conversations in our communities, train leaders, build relationships and cement the foundation for future action.

Soon after Colorado supporters turned in 171,000 signatures in August – almost twice the required number to place the measure on the ballot – outside money started pouring in the state.  Multinational seed and soda corporations were by far the largest contributors to the opposition coalition.

Monsanto ($4.7 million), Dupont Pioneer ($3 million), Pepsi ($1.6 million), and Coca Cola ($1.3 million) together contributed well over half of the more than $16 million spent to defeat the measure.
In the end, Colorado voters rejected the measure, 66% against, 34% in favor.

In 2002, Oregon soundly rejected a GMO labeling measure by roughly the same margin. However, the results were much closer 12 years later. As of this writing, Oregon’s measure faces a razor thin margin.

“Let’s just hope that time is on our side in the long run,” said WCC member Mary Lou Martin.  “I know that it took ten years to pass the labeling legislation in Vermont.”

There are other reasons to feel optimistic about future efforts. Of the two counties in Colorado that did vote in favor of Proposition 105, both were on the Western Slope. This bodes well for the role that WCC and local organizing can play in future efforts.

Contact Rachel Zatterstrom for more information at (970) 256-7650.

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