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Oregon’s GMO Labeling Initiative Remains Too Close To Call

Measure 92, Oregon’s mandatory GMO-labeling initiative, remained too close to call Wednesday morning.

KGW.com reports that, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, the Secretary of State’s office showed the measure failing by about 51 to 49 percent. However, the Yes on 92 campaign said it likely would be a few days before the race is called.

Some 1.2 million Oregonians voted on Measure 92, which would require that GMO foods be labeled, starting in January 2016. Retailers and manufacturers who knowingly violate the law can be sued.

A KGW/The Oregonian poll showed the race was extremely close all the way up until the end, with 7 percent of voters still undecided just before the election.

The measure attracted a record amount of money as big companies on both sides battled to sway voters.

By Election Day, the No on 92 groups had spent $20,438,301 and proponents of the measure had spent $6,902,997.

The top five donors on the Yes on 92 side were Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Center for Food Safety, Mercola Health, Tom Hormel and OSPIRG.

For the No on 92 side, the top five donors were Dupont, Monsanto, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Kraft.

The measure defines GMOs as “food produced from organisms with genetic material changed through in vitro… techniques.” Traditional plant-breeding techniques such as hybridization are not classified as GMO.

Labels would say “Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering,” depending on the contents.

The measure does not apply to animal feed and food served in restaurants.

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