Oregon Right to Know

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Yes on Measure 92 Campaign Goes On the Air

The fight over Measure 92 is heating up as the Yes on 92 campaign went on the airwaves today with a major ad buy designed to counter the false claims from labeling opponents in their ad blitz.

The first run will consist of two ads, one featuring nationally recognized Consumer Reports senior scientist Michael Hansen, and the other featuring Oregon family farmers.

Dr. Hansen is one of the top food safety experts in the country and is one of the leading expert voices in the nation on the impacts genetically engineered foods. In the ad, Hansen calls Measure 92 “a clear, well written plan” and explains, “Our job is giving consumers unbiased information, so we’ve read the fine print and we strongly endorse Measure 92.” He adds, “64 countries require labeling genetically engineered food – labeling didn’t increase food costs in those countries and would not increase costs here.”

You can see this ad by clicking here.

The second ad features several Oregon family farmers who explain their support for labeling. As one farmer says, “Labeling helps family farmers by letting people know the difference between traditional food we grow and food genetically engineered in a lab.” You can see this ad by clicking here.

The Yes on 92 campaign has endorsements from many farm-affiliated organizations, including: Friends of Family Farmers, the Our Family Farms Coalition, the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, United Farm Workers, Oregon Tilth, the Phoenix Grange #779, the Rockford Grange #591, Mary’s River Grange #685, and scores of individual farms across the state.

Oregon family farmers worried about the negative impacts of genetically engineered crops on their own traditional crops led the overwhelmingly successful local ballot campaigns this spring to bar the planting of GE crops in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

The ads will run for at least one week and are part of a major buy from the Yes on 92 campaign intended to provide voters with the information they need to see through the cynical and misleading attacks in the multi-million dollar deceptive ad campaign launched earlier today by the big agribusiness conglomerates and other corporations funding the anti-labeling effort.

“While there is no question we will be vastly outspent by the huge conglomerates that earn billions in profits off the manufacture and sale of genetically engineered foods, we are confident that if we get our message out to voters they will see through the distortions pushed by the self-interested corporate interests funding the no campaign,” said Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesperson for Yes on Measure 92.

The ad featuring Michael Hansen can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGNZMJHSIE0&feature=youtu.be

The ad featuring Oregon family farmers can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6kfmLw6zhk&feature=youtu.be



Seattle PI: EPA Retired Scientist – Herbicide and Pesticide Use Is Skyrocketing

Dr. Ramon J. Seidler, Ph.D., former Senior Scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, has recently published a detailed review documenting how pesticide and herbicide use has grown dramatically in the past few years due to the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops created to withstand higher doses of toxic herbicides and pesticides.

“Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered Crops,” in Environmental Working Group’s online AgMag, can be read here: Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered Crops

Seidler’s piece cites and links the relevant cutting edge scientific literature and media reports to paint a concerning picture of broken promises and harmful incentives related to the proliferation of engineered crops.  

Over 99% of GMO acreage is engineered by chemical companies to tolerate heavy herbicide (glyphosate) use and/or produce insecticide (Bt) in every cell of the plant, Siedler points out. The result is massive selection pressure that has rapidly created pest resistance and increased the use of various chemicals; the very same chemicals that these corporations create. This creates harmful incentives wherein the biotechnology corporations that create these seeds stand to lose money if chemical use goes down.

Based on the latest mainstream scientific literature, Seidler concludes that genetically engineered crops are creating a pesticide escalation that is contaminating our food and water in order to increase the profits of the chemical and agribusiness conglomerates that manufacture not only the engineered crops, but also the herbicides and pesticides that they are engineered to tolerate.

“This article should be required reading for all journalists covering the debate on genetically modified organisms, as well as for citizens generally to understand why their right to know if food is genetically engineered is so important,” says Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesperson for the Yes on Measure 92 campaign to require labeling of genetically engineered foods in Oregon.

For the full story Click Here

Champion of Food Labeling Laws Visits Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. - Backers of Measure 92, to require labeling of genetically-engineered ingredients in foods sold in Oregon, are getting some help this week from one of the “big guns” in the food labeling debate nationwide.

Michael Hansen, senior scientist for Consumer Reports, is in Oregon making several stops to debunk what he calls “common myths” from food processors and supermarket chains opposing the ballot measure.

Hansen says mentioning that some ingredients are genetically modified isn’t any more burdensome or expensive for companies than other details now required on a food label.

“You have to label milk whether it’s been homogenized or not,” Hansen says. “You have to label juices whether they’ve been frozen, or from concentrate or fresh-squeezed. Fish, you have to label whether they’re wild-caught or farm-raised. We have country-of-origin labeling. Most importantly, look at irradiation labeling.”

More than 60 countries, adds Hansen, already require genetically-engineered ingredient labeling on foods. Opponents of mandatory labeling have warned it could raise food prices and say there isn’t sufficient evidence these ingredients need to be labeled.

Hansen spent Tuesday in Medford, and visits Eugene, Salem and Portland this week.

Despite similar but unsuccessful GE labeling pushes in California and Washington, Hansen believes Oregon’s Measure 92 vote in November is getting so much attention because it could be the nation’s game changer on this topic.

“If this gets passed in Oregon, I think it’s only a short period of time before there would be a national decision made,” Hansen says. “Even though the industry is spending huge sums of money, they’re just barely winning.”

Legislatures in three states have passed these labeling laws, but Oregon would be the first to pass it by voter initiative. This year, 35 bills on the topic were introduced in 20 states in response to growing consumer interest.

For the original story and audio Click Here

KTVL: Consumer Reports Scientist In Rogue Valley To Discuss G.M.O.-Labeling Measure

The G.M.O. ban in Jackson County was passed just a few months ago. Now there’s a statewide measure to label those products on the November ballot.

Michael Hansen is a senior staff scientist at Consumer Reports and speaks nationally as well as globally. Hansen said he discusses the importance of knowing what’s in our food. He said labeling helps people have a better idea of tracking health consequences and the world agrees.

“We would argue labeling is a material fact required on those foods and there’s global agreement on this. There’s 64 countries around world who require labeling right now,” Hansen said.

Vern Caldwell currently has Pholia Farm in Rogue River. He said labeling is a food rights issue and everyone should have the right to choose.

“If you are not given that opportunity simply because somebody doesn’t want you to know, that’s just wrong,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said he doesn’t understand why a grower or producer would avoid listing what they produce. He said everyone he knows is proud of what they make.

“They’re more than happy to tell you what’s in it. In fact they might tell you too much of what’s in it,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said the big companies exporting food already have labels listing every ingredient and so it should be easy to do the same for the U.S.

“They change their labels all the time, so it’s easy. From my standpoint, if they’re proud of what they’re producing, they would purposely put it on the label. Its maybe conspiracy theory, but what are they hiding. Why are they not proud of what they are producing?” Caldwell said.

Hansen spoke in Medford and will speak in Eugene and Portland.

For the original article and video Click Here


The Daily Astorian: County Commission supports GMO labeling

The Clatsop County Commission approved a resolution Wednesday to express support for the upcoming Ballot Measure 92, which requires labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The measure, if passed on the statewide ballot Nov. 4, would require all raw packaged food containing genetically modified organisms to carry labeling for the purpose of informing consumers.

The commission voted unanimously in support of the resolution.

Commissioner Peter Huhtala emphasized the potential impact labeling genetically modified foods would have on the local salmon industry.

In the resolution, the commission cited proposed action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the sale of genetically modified salmon as a threat to commercial fishing interest.

“Without labeling, the consumer may not know that the salmon they are buying is not one of the world’s most fantastic creatures from the Columbia River or a genetically modified creature,” Huhtala said.

The resolution states labeling genetically modified foods would avoid confusion and allow consumers to avoid eating genetically modified salmon, while continuing to buy wild-caught salmon from Clatsop County fishermen and local processors, if they so choose.

In addition, the resolution explains that if genetically engineered salmon is not labeled, it could decrease consumer demand for all salmon based on concerns about genetically engineered salmon.

Overall, the commission agreed that labeling genetically modified foods would not necessarily increase food prices and that labeling crops is already required in 64 other countries.

“As a producer of food, I would like to respect the consumer and what they are buying,” Commissioner Dirk Rohne, who owns and operates a dairy farm, said.

For the original story, click here.

Portland Tribune: Dish 92 takes on a campaign flavor

Fourteen of Portland’s rock star chefs will serve their best wares this month at “Dish 92,” a fundraising event for the GMO labeling campaign.

The chefs have pledged their support for Measure 92, the November ballot measure to require labeling of genetically engineered food.

Chefs will prepare their favorite appetizers from their restaurants, paired with local wines, brews and spirits.

Participating restaurants include: Abby’s Table, Bar Avignon, Coquine, Fireside, Frice Pastry, Lardo, Tasty n Sons,

Lauretta Jean’s, Luce, Olympic Provisions, Park Kitchen, The Parish, Irving Street Kitchen and Trifecta Tavern & Bakery.

New Seasons Market and Coconut Bliss are presenting the event; sponsors include Organically Grown Company, PDX Wine, Petit Monde Wine Merchant, Starvation Alley Farms, Vivacity Spirits, and Gigantic Brewing Co.

The event is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 22 at The Castaway, 1900 N.W. 18th Ave.

Tickets are $100; visit www.dish92.com to purchase and for more info.

For the original story, please click here.

Consumers Union supports Ballot Initiative #44

Statement of Michael Hansen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist


There is global agreement that genetic engineering (GE) differs from conventional breeding, and that safety assessments should be completed for all GE foods, including crops and animals, prior to marketing. The human safety problems that may arise from GE include introduction of new allergens or increased levels of naturally occurring allergens, of plant toxins, and changes in nutrition. There may also be unintended effects. Codex Alimentarius, the food safety standards organization of the United Nations, has developed a set of documents on this topic. Read More

Signature Gathering Effort Launches

Coalition leaders from food safety, environmental and consumer protection groups announced they will move forward with a major statewide initiative campaign to require labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms

Portland, OR (May 15) — Today Oregon Right to Know announced that they are moving forward with a major statewide signature gathering effort to place a measure requiring foods containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled on the November ballot.

Read More

KOIN 6: Oregon activists announce GMO labeling campaign

KOIN 6 reports

Activists in Oregon have announced a signature gathering campaign to place a ballot measure requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods on the statewide ballot in November.

If adopted, the initiative by Oregon GMO Right to Know would require food manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to label raw and packaged foods produced entirely or partially by genetic engineering. The measure would not apply to animal feed or food served in restaurants. It would be effective January 2016.

More than 87,000 signatures are needed to qualify for the ballot. The group has until July 3 to collect signatures.

Read the full article here.

Response to Today’s State Supreme Court Ruling

Oregon Right to Know Issues Statement in Response to Today’s State Supreme Court Ruling Allowing Initiative Requiring Labeling of Foods Containing Genetically Modified Organisms to Move Forward

Portland, OR - Oregon Right to Know, which supports placing a statewide ballot measure on the November ballot to require labeling of foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), issued the following statement in response to today’s state Supreme Court ruling allowing the initiative effort to move forward:

“Today’s Oregon Supreme Court decision to allow our GMO labeling initiative to go to the ballot is a huge win for families across Oregon. Oregonians have always cared about what we grow, the fish in our streams and the food we eat.  It is who we are.  And we want to make informed choices about what we feed our families. That includes knowing whether or not that food contains genetically modified organisms. Read More

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