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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.

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