Measure No. 27

Proposed by initiative petition to be voted on at the General Election, November 5, 2002.



RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote requires labeling of foods derived from or processed using genetically-engineered (as defined) materials with label prepared by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote rejects requiring labeling of foods derived from or processed using genetically-engineered (as defined) materials with label prepared by Oregon Department of Agriculture.

SUMMARY: Requires label stating "Genetically Engineered" on surface or outside packaging of genetically-engineered foods (as defined) sold or distributed in or from Oregon. Defines "genetically engineered" to mean produced by biological changes to the molecular or cell biology of an organism by means not possible under natural conditions; definition excludes breeding, hybridization, tissue culture, certain other processes. Applies to all foods derived from, or prepared with, genetically-engineered material, regardless of whether that material is present in the final product. Creates additional labeling requirements for genetically-engineered foods whose composition or nutritional value is significantly altered and those resulting from gene transfers from other species to allow those with dietary restrictions to observe those dietary guidelines. Legislature to implement and enforce requirements. Other provisions.

ESTIMATE OF FINANCIAL IMPACT: The financial impact of this measure on state and local government expenditures cannot be determined because the Legislative Assembly must act to carry out this measure. There is no impact on state or local revenues.

(The State Treasurer dissents from this estimate.)

Text of Measure

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

The Oregon Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF THE FOLLOWING NEW PART ___, TO READ:

Part ___. Labeling of genetically engineered food. (1) Declaration of the People.

Labeling of genetically engineered food and food additives shall be required in order to create and enforce the fundamental right of people in Oregon to know if they are buying or eating genetically engineered food and to have the choice in buying or eating foods that have been altered through genetic engineering.

(2) Definitions. As used in this part ___ unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Agricultural products" means any agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, or vegetable product grown or produced;
(b) "Food" means any articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, chewing gum, and articles used for components, including food additives, of any such article;
(c) "Food additive" means any substance, the intended use of which results or may be reasonably expected to result, directly or indirectly, in its becoming a component or
otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food (including any substance intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food and including any source of radiation intended for any such use);
(d) "Genetically Engineered" means grown, manufactured, processed or otherwise produced or altered with techniques that change the molecular or cell biology of an organism by means or in a manner not possible under natural conditions or processes, including but not limited to recombinant DNA techniques, cell fusion, micro- and macro-encapsulation, gene deletion and doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes. "Genetically Engineered" shall not include breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in-vitro fertilization and tissue culture processes;
(e) "Label" means a display of written, printed, or graphic matter upon or connected to the immediate container or surface of any article; and by or under the authority of this section a requirement that any word, statement, or other information appearing on the label shall not be considered to be complied with unless such word, statement or other information also appears on the outside container or wrapper, if any, of the bulk, wholesale or retail package of such article or is easily legible through the outside container or wrapper;
(f) "Labeling" means all labels and other written, printed, or graphic matter upon an article or any of its containers or wrappers, or accompanying such article; and
(g) "Principle display panel" means that part of a label that is most likely to be displayed, presented, shown, or examined under normal and customary conditions of display for bulk, wholesale or retail sale.
(3) Labeling. All foods in the following categories sold or distributed in or from Oregon, shall bear a label, created by the Oregon State Department of Agriculture, that is plainly visible on the principal display panel and contains the words "Genetically Engineered":
(a) All foods derived in whole or in part from any genetically engineered microorganisms, plants or livestock, if that genetically engineered material accounts for more than one tenth of one percent of the weight of the product;
(b) All food products prepared or processed using genetically engineered enzymes or other genetically engineered processing agents, whether those enzymes or agents are present in the final product or not;
(c) All foods derived from agricultural products cultivated using genetically engineered agricultural inputs, whether those agents are present in the final product or not;
(d) All dairy and meat products derived from livestock that have been fed genetically engineered feed or feed additives or ingredients, or derived from livestock that have been treated with genetically engineered hormones or drugs;
(e) All genetically engineered foods that are significantly altered in composition or nutritional value, or that require preparation steps different from their natural counterparts which shall, in addition to being labeled "genetically engineered," be labeled to specify those changes in properties;
(f) All genetically engineered foods resulting from trans-species gene transfers which shall specify, in the label, the source of the transgene used and the purpose of the transfer. For instance, "This squash contains viral genetic information designed to make it resistant to viral infection."; and
(g) All genetically engineered foods resulting from transfer of animal genes into plants which shall be labeled to indicate this fact in a manner that will allow vegetarians and those with dietary religious restrictions to observe their dietary guidelines. For instance, "this tomato contains genetic material derived from the flounder, a fish of the family Bothidiae."
(4) Enforcement. By the effective date, the legislature shall prescribe, enact and enforce measures implementing this new part ___.

(5) Effective date. This new part ___ shall become effective ninety days after the proclamation of the vote by the governor and shall supercede any federal law, act or regulation which contains less stringent or less complete labeling information for any product subject to the provisions of this part.

(6) Revisions of this law. The voters of Oregon authorize the legislature to make changes consistent with the intent of this law so long as the changes further the purpose of this amendment. Substantive changes, such as changes to the categories of foods or food additives, the full or partial omission of any category of food or food additive, tolerance levels expressed as a percentage, definitions pertaining to terms used in this part or labeling requirements are to be referred to a vote of the people.

Explanatory Statement

Arguments in Favor

Arguments in Opposition

Statewide Measures

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