Measure No. 27

Argument in Favor

The Center for Food Safety
Urges You to Vote Yes on Measure 27

Oregonians should have the right to know what they are eating. Up to 60% of processed foods on your grocery store shelves contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. There is strong scientific evidence of numerous potential health and environmental risks of GE foods. These foods could be toxic, could cause allergic responses, could have lowered nutritional value and could compromise the immune responses in consumers. They may also cause environmental problems, such as the growth of "superweeds" and the extinction of native species. Under federal government policies, GE foods reach your supermarkets without any required testing for these human health and environmental problems.

By passing Measure 27, Oregon will become the first state to allow its citizens to make an informed decision on whether or not they wish to eat GE foods.

Mandatory labels on GE foods would benefit everyone -- except for the corporations that want to boost their profits and deny consumers the ability to know exactly what it is they are buying.

We urge the citizens of Oregon to be leaders and to protect consumers' right to know. Vote Yes on Measure 27.

For more information, call the Center for Food Safety at 1-800-600-6664 or visit our website at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.

(This information furnished by Joseph Mendelson, III, The Center for Food Safety.)

Argument in Favor

Greenpeace Urges Yes on 27 - Label Genetically Engineered (GE) Food

Greenpeace supports Oregon consumers' right to know if their food has been genetically engineered, and offers these comments:

Labeling GE food does not increase prices: In more than 25 countries, labels are currently required on GE foods. In these countries, when labeling was proposed, the biotech industry threatened that labeling would be enormously costly, and taxes and food costs would increase. In fact, no country has seen price increases or higher taxes from GE food labeling. One of England's largest supermarket chains stated that GE food labeling required no price increases. Every supermarket in Europe, and many elsewhere, have conformed to labeling laws, and none has raised prices. Oregon citizens should not be bullied by industry's empty threats.

Doctors warn that GE foods could harm our health: The New England Journal of Medicine warned that GE foods could cause new allergies. The leading doctors' organization in England has stated that a ban on GE foods should be considered if they are unlabeled. A statement by over 2,000 doctors called the use of antibiotic genes in GE foods "a danger to health that can be avoided."

Infants and children are most at risk: A Harvard University pediatrician stated, "I especially worry about the safety of [GE] foods when it comes to children." A leading scientific society has noted that infants could be especially at risk for food allergies from GE foods. These doctors say GE foods are risky for children.

Genetically engineered food harms the environment: Genetic engineering means more pesticides on our food and in the environment. Farmers who grow natural and organic food can lose their harvest when GE crops contaminate their fields. Labels on GE food would protect farmers and consumers who want the right to choose safe, natural non-GE food.

For a list of worldwide endorsers of Oregon Measure 27, see www.greenpeaceusa.org/oregon

Greenpeace USA
Charles Margulis, GE Campaigner

(This information furnished by Charles Margulis, GE Campaigner, Greenpeace USA.)

Argument in Favor

Vote Yes on 27!

The Colorado Genetic Engineering Action Network (COGEAN), a statewide grassroots organization of Colorado activists, applauds Oregon citizens for championing the consumers right to know what is in their food. We fully support the labeling initiative and are ready to cooperate in any way, including working with local farmers, producers, grocers and cooperative markets, to help the State of Oregon comply with this crucial law. You are the torchbearers on this issue, and we thank you. People have a right to know what is in their food, what they are feeding their families, their children. The risks are too high not to allow people to choose. We are accumulating a sign on sheet of those in support of your initiative at http://www.foodlabeling.org.

(This information furnished by Patrick West, Colorado Genetic Engineering Action Network.)

Argument in Favor

The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods has been working since 1999 to pass federal legislation to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States. We strongly support Oregon Ballot Measure 27.

According to a June 13-17, 2001 survey from ABC News, 93 percent of those polled said the federal government should require labels on food saying whether it has been genetically modified. ABC News stated "Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare."

While legislation to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods nationwide was introduced into both the 106th and the current 107th U.S. Congress, it has not received the priority treatment needed to pass it into law.

In the European Union, Australia, Japan, China and many other nations, the controversy over genetically engineered foods has received significant media coverage. As a result, mandatory labeling laws have been enacted in all those countries. Yet in the United States, we still don't have this right.

The food industry does not want labels on genetically engineered foods because they are concerned people will start asking questions such as "Have these foods ever been safety tested for human consumption?" The answer to that question is "NO!" The FDA decided that genetically engineered foods are "substantially equivalent" to non-genetically engineered foods and need no additional safety testing or labeling. Currently the biotech companies do not even need to notify the FDA that they are bringing a new product to market. The very corporations that have a financial interest in selling the products get to decide whether they are safe or not.

Oregon voters are smart and have often shown leadership in important areas of public concern before the rest of the country. Oregon citizens now have another opportunity to show leadership in the area of labeling genetically engineered foods.

Tell big business that you want the right to know if your foods have been genetically engineered. Vote YES on Measure 27!

(This information furnished by Craig Winters, The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods.)

Argument in Favor

Yes on 27

Almost everyone wants labeling of genetically engineered food!

"COMPILATION AND ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC OPINION POLLS ON GENETICALLY
ENGINEERED (GE) FOODS (UPDATED FEBRUARY 1, 2002)

Below is a compilation of poll results concerning of genetically engineered foods, listed in chronological order:

A Work Product of the Center for Food Safety - Washington, DC 2002
For more polls see http;//www.centerforfoodsafety.org/facts&issues/polls.html

(This information furnished by Donna Harris, Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Foods.)

Argument in Favor

Market of Choice Urges Yes on Measure 27

"Informed consumers are essential to the fair and efficient functioning of a free market economy."
­ Congressional declaration of policy, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, January 1999

We, at Market of Choice, enthusiastically support the right of all consumers to know what is in their food in order to make an informed choice in our free market economy.

Vote Yes on 27

Rick Wright, Vice President, Wright's Foodliner, dba Market of Choice

(This information furnished by Rick Wright, Wright's Foodliner, dba Market of Choice.)

Argument in Favor

OREGON CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR SAFE FOODS
URGE YOU TO VOTE YES ON MEASURE 27

We have the right to know what is in our food.

We are women and men, young and old, married and single, of every race and religion, from every corner of Oregon. We are scientists, physicians and lay people. We are farmers and consumers, meat-eaters and vegetarians, rich and poor. We have differences, but have all joined hands to bring you this message.

We have serious, scientifically-based concerns about the known and unknown dangers of genetically engineered food, both for human health and the environment.

We do not feel adequately informed or protected. We realize that many will find the following points hard to believe, but they are a matter of public record:

The people and governments of the European Union, Japan and many other nations around the world have demanded and required that any genetically engineered food be labeled. This has been accomplished with little or no price increase.

Numerous polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans want genetically engineered food to be labeled and yet we have been denied this basic right.

It is time for the people of Oregon to once again assume leadership in the nation, just as we have in the past.

It is time to assert our common sense.

Please vote Yes on Measure 27.

Oregon Concerned Citizens For Safe Foods
www.labelgefoods.com

(This information furnished by Richard North, Oregon Concerned Citizens For Safe Foods.)

Argument in Favor

Environmentally Responsible Investors urge Yes on 27

There are many documented risks connected with genetic engineering-- human health risks, environmental risks, cultural and community risks. There are also unknown risks due to the newness of the technology and the conflicting nature of the information that is available. As a result, it is essential that genetically engineered foods be labeled so that consumers can choose whether or not to purchase these modified foods.

Measure 27 provides much needed transparency. Note that Measure 27 does not prevent the sale of genetically engineered foods and crops--it simply requires that consumers be informed.

Increased Chances of Allergic Reactions. The transfer of genes from one organism to another, via genetic engineering, has tremendous implications for individuals with allergies who, without labeling, can inadvertently eat a food containing a gene to which they are allergic.

Risks to the Organic Industry: Organic farming, the processing of organic foods and products, and the sale of these products is a growing industry in Oregon. Genetically modified crops present numerous risks to the organic industry, including the risk that pests will become resistant to organic farmers' methods and the risk of genetic pollution whereby genetically modified crops could contaminate organic crops.

Risks to Wildlife / Biodiversity and ecosystem integrity: Some genetically engineered crops have been shown to be lethal to certain organisms and thus represent a clear threat to bio-diversity. Other genetically engineered crops have been found to release toxins into the soil.

Risks to the Developing World: There are significant concerns associated with companies engaged in genetic engineering, particularly in the way they deal with indigenous cultures and developing nations.

Support your right to know. Give consumers the ability to choose whether to support genetic engineering given the risks to human health, the local economy, the global environment, and the developing world.

Carsten Henningsen
Troy Horton

(This information furnished by Carsten Henningsen, Environmentally Responsible Investors.)

Argument in Favor

Oregon Rural Action Urges YES ON MEASURE 27!

Oregon Rural Action is a grassroots membership organization in Eastern Oregon working for social justice, agricultural and economic sustainability, and stewardship of the land, air, and water.

We believe that we have the right to know what is in the food we eat!

By voting YES on Measure 27, we can choose to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. Genetic engineering involves taking a gene from one species and splicing it into another to transfer a desired trait. This process does not occur naturally, where natural barriers limit the transfer of genetic traits between different species. Genetic engineering is relatively new and incomparable to traditional animal and plant breeding techniques.

Oregon can become the first state trusted for GE food labeling in the U.S. Many other countries already require labeling. Since many of our nationally known brands already sell food overseas that is free of GE ingredients, or are at least required to label such foods, it is right that we have the same consumer opportunity here in Oregon.

Labeling genetically engineered foods is the only method to ensure that you have a choice and are in control of what your family eats! Vote YES to protect the health of our children.

Our choice of food is too important to be left to the corporations selling chemicals and biotechnology contracts to farmers for bottom-line stockholder profits. Given the corporate scandals we've seen this year, why should we trust the food corporations to tell us what regulations are best? We believe that family farmers have the right to be free from corporate control and liability for a technology outside their influence.

If GE foods were as wonderful as the corporations would have us believe, why won't they label to showcase GE ingredients?

Your YES vote on Measure 27 gives you the power to make your own decision about GE foods.

Ulee Yanok, Vice President, Oregon Rural Action
www.oraction.org

(This information furnished by Ulee Yanok, Oregon Rural Action.)

Argument in Favor

RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN SUPPORT OF MEASURE 27

    God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation: herbage yielding seed, fruit trees yielding fruit each after its kind, containing its own seed on the earth." And it was so. And the Earth brought forth vegetation: herbage yielding seed after its kind, and trees yielding fruit, each containing its seed after its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12

    Religious traditions teach about the exquisite unity and awesome beauty and wonder that God placed within creation. Religion also instructs us about our responsibility to be stewards of creation. We are told in Genesis 2:15 ­ God takes the newly created human, and placed the human in the Garden of Eden to "cultivate and protect it."

    The Bible provides us with insight about our role as caretakers in creation. It is our belief that one of the expressions of this responsibility is to be extremely careful before taking any action that could bring harm to the well-being of God's creation. The use of genetically engineered foods is such an action.

    Our conscience calls us to speak out about the proliferation of these foods. We are greatly concerned that they are not adequately tested and that they bring enormous risk to the natural order of creation. We believe that at minimum producers of such foods have the responsibilities to provide labeling that will allow consumers who share our concern of conscience to know when they are purchasing such as product. The ability to discern genetically engineered products from those naturally grown allows us to make decisions based upon our ethical commitments.

    The psalmist reminds us, "The earth is the Eternal One's and the fullness thereof ..." Let us be careful stewards of God's creation.

    Join us in supporting Measure 27.

For a list of Oregon religious leaders urging you to vote Yes on Measure 27, check www.labelgefoods.com.

Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin
Rev. John Pitney
Father Robert W. Krueger

(This information furnished by Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin.)

Argument in Favor

    Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, a group of doctors committed to human health, patient safety, scientific honesty and environmental protection, supports a yes vote on Measure 27.
    Less than a decade since their introduction, two-thirds of products in U.S. supermarket shelves contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Only one-third of Americans are aware that their foods contain GE ingredients. Multiple polls show that 85% to 95% of citizens favor labeling.
    Currently, food substances are labeled for vitamin, mineral, caloric and fat content; wines containing sulfites warn those allergic. The European Union requires labeling; many countries ban import of GE foods from the US; other countries have or are considering labeling laws and import bans. Unfortunately, US regulatory agencies rely on safety tests done by GE product-producing companies.
    Risks of GE foods include: toxicities from new proteins (deadly eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome in consumers of GE tryptophan supplements); altered nutritional value; transfer of antibiotic resistance genes, contributing to antibiotic resistance; increased pesticide use when pests develop resistance to GE food toxins; herbicide-resistant "superweeds"; non-target insects dying from exposure to pesticide-resistant crops, with ripple effects on other species; GE plants and animals interbreeding with and contaminating wild populations; GE plants outcompeting, or driving to extinction, wild varieties; GE plants adversely altering soil quality; decreased agricultural biodiversity; and corporate control of agriculture, with the transmogrification of farmers into "bioserfs."
    Labeling of GE foods will prevent dangerous allergic attacks (as occurred in unsuspecting consumers of soybeans modified with Brazil Nut genes); allow vegetarians to avoid plants injected with animal genes; and allow concerned individuals to avoid ingesting milk from cattle injected with recombinant BGH, which increases levels of potentially-carcinogenic IGF-1 in milk.
    Labeling will increase public awareness of genetic engineering, allow us freedom to choose what we eat based on individual willingness to confront risk, and ensure a healthy public debate over the merits of genetic modification of foodstuffs.

Board of Directors
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

(This information furnished by Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP, for Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility.)

Argument in Favor

A Retail Grocer's Perspective on Measure 27

As President of New Seasons Market, a locally owned Portland based grocery chain, I ask you to join me in voting Yes on Measure 27, the campaign to label genetically engineered food.

I believe strongly that our customers have the right to know what they are buying and eating. This includes, as much as possible, labeling where the food was grown or produced, whether it's organic and if it has been genetically engineered. Congress declared in its Fair Packaging and Labeling Act that, "Informed consumers are essential to the fair and efficient functioning of a free market economy." Without Measure 27 consumers in Oregon and throughout our country will continue to be kept in the dark about this risky experiment with genetic engineering. The system is broken and this is our chance to fix it.

There are serious, scientifically valid concerns about the dangers of genetically engineered food to our health and to the health of our environment. In the European Union, citizens and governments have demanded that genetically engineered foods be labeled so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions. I want to offer that choice to our customers also. They deserve it.

For many, food is connected to religion, culture, ethical concerns and the environment. For everyone, food choices are connected to health. Isn't it time we assert our rights as citizens of this country to be kept adequately informed on a subject so critical to all of us?

In one survey after another, a vast majority of Americans have stated that they want to see genetically engineered foods labeled. To me, it is not only good business sense to comply with the wishes of my customers, it is also just plain common sense.

For yourself, your family and for future generations, please vote Yes on Measure 27.

Sincerely,
Brian Rohter

(This information furnished by Brian Rohter, President, New Seasons Market.)

Argument in Favor

GE labeling statement by Harry MacCormack--Organic Farmer and Co-Founder & former Executive Director of Oregon Tilth

The relationship between food consumers and the farmer-manufacturers of those foods is one of trust. When that trust is questioned or fractured, rules or laws are needed. We cannot tolerate an incursion into this relationship of trust by those who promote the genetic alteration of grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products.

In Oregon, which has the oldest Organic Labeling Law, awareness of the problems with genetically altered foods is becoming more widespread. That an estimated 70% of foods on store shelves contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients with no identifying label makes the public leery. We need to know what is in our foods--we have the right to know. A GE labeling requirement is necessary.

As a farmer, I share concerns with consumers regarding drift from genetically altered pollens. In crops like corn, this drift is rapidly spreading to all corn across the world. Wheat, rice, soy, canola--the list of GE crops grows. As growers, it is difficult to defend ourselves from this outrageous violation of our sacred seed base.

GE potatoes can contain a pesticide and therefore be toxic, especially to children. But without labeling, how does anyone know when they are ingesting these altered foods?

How is it that those of us who try to grow clean, health-promoting foods in accordance with natural, biological processes can be so quickly displaced by corporate arrogance? There has been almost no testing of the effects on humans, animals, or microbial life of this genetic engineering practice. We can only hope that a GE labeling requirement will slow down the practice until our collective knowledge catches up with reason to replace the secrecy that allows greed yet another victory.

I will vote YES on Measure 27.

Harry MacCormack

(This information furnished by Harry MacCormack.)

Argument in Favor

YES ON 27

"Let Oregonians join the growing global community"
Label genetically engineered foods

Countries that presently have existing bans or mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods:
Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Countries proposing, or in the process of enacting, laws to label genetically engineered foods.
Brazil, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Russia

"Oregonians have the right to know"

Public opinion surveys in foreign countries show that a vast majority (including 98% in Canada) of those surveyed, believe that genetically engineered food should be labeled. More than three billion people live in countries with laws in place, planned or proposed, to label or ban genetically engineered food.

Oregonians have the right to protect their families and future from the potential unanticipated health effects of genetically engineered foods.

Common sense says, "if a food product is safe, nutritious, and environmentally friendly, why stop consumers from having full disclosure of these experimental products"?

The United States, which produces over 70% of the GE food globally, needs to have its citizenry take greater accountability of the proliferation of these products.

Exercise your democratic right and vote "Yes" on Measure 27.

Mel Bankoff, President of Emerald Valley Kitchen

(This information furnished by Mel Bankoff, Emerald Valley Kitchen President.)

Argument in Favor

    Rachel's Friends Breast Cancer Coalition is a grassroots Oregon organization (www.rachelsfriends.org) concerned about environmental toxins causing breast and other cancers. We believe in the precautionary principle, which asks whether potentially risky behavior can be avoided. Our support for Ballot Measure 27 flows from our organizational purposes and philosophy.

    Genetically engineered food is experimentation on human beings and our environment. Its consequences aren't presently known, and may not be reversible if ultimately found harmful. Because these risks are not necessary, they should be avoided.

    To support this ballot measure, however, you only need agree with Oregon's long tradition of giving citizens information so they can make informed private choices. Product labeling will enable those who wish to purchase genetically engineered foods to find these products and permit others to avoid them.

    Choice are important for people who wish to avoid certain foods for health reasons or religious or ethical principles. If some tomatoes contain genetic material derived from flounders, without labeling people who don't eat fish would have to avoid all tomatoes. If Ballot Measure 27 passes, they would know which tomatoes they could purchase safely.

    Moreover, we don't know the long-term effects, for example, of genetically modifying a plant to increase its resistance to a particular herbicide or to kill certain insects. Genetically engineered plants and animals are living things which will reproduce, crossbreed and potentially dominate or eliminate non-engineered varieties. In the short term, we may receive greater yields, but in the long term we may discover that this was a tragically wrong choice which cannot be corrected.

    The theory of a free market economy is that products survive or fail based on consumer choice. Without labeling, consumers are powerless to decide whether they want to accept or avoid the risks inherent in genetically engineered food. Passage of Ballot Measure 27 would restore that freedom of choice.

(This information furnished by Nancy Crumpacker, Rachel's Friends Breast Cancer Coalition.)

Argument in Favor

HUNDREDS OF SCIENTISTS, INCLUDING THE FDA'S OWN EXPERTS, HAVE WARNED THAT GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS POSE HIGHER RISKS TO HUMAN HEALTH THAN DO OTHER FOODS.

VOTE YES ON 27 TO LABEL THEM.

(This information furnished by Steven M. Druker, Executive Director, Alliance for Bio-Integrity.)

Argument in Favor

LABELING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD IS NOT COSTLY
EXCERPTS FROM MAJOR FOOD RETAILERS' COMMENTS

"With our policy to remove all GM (genetically modified/engineered) derivatives from Safeway brand products, the impact on cost of moving to Non-GM was thus largely minimized...The supply chain for non-GM materials is now much more established such that the product pricing of Soya/Maize raw materials is market competitive."

- George Uden, Safeway ­ United Kingdom (UK)

"Has the CWS increased the price of any product that it retails as a direct result of the introduction of European labeling legislation for GM ingredients? No. At the outset, our policy was to label...alongside routine packaging changes. However, as exclusion of GM ingredients became more practical, this was our preferred course of action and meant that no additional labeling was necessary...previous changes were reversed in routine label updates as far as possible and so any cost impact was minimal."

- David Croft, CWS Retail (UK's largest retail cooperative and commercial farming operation)

"...we have eliminated GM ingredients from all our brand food, pet food and dietary supplements, involving over 4,000 products...by replacing soya and maize ingredients with alternatives or using validated non-GM sources...
...changes in packaging took place at the print run stage and no additional costs were incurred.
...removal of GM ingredients has neither affected the final product quality nor cost to the consumer."

- Rachel Wilson, Sainsbury's (UK's second largest grocery chain)

- Above excerpts from answers by major food retailers included in "Labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) is Becoming Standard Practice Around The World ­ References, Reports and Documents, Greenpeace, October 2001
America has the "know-how" to label GE foods affordably and offer consumers an informed choice.

Please Vote Yes on Measure 27.

www.labelgefoods.com

(This information furnished by Donna Harris, Oregon Concerned Citizens For Safe Foods.)

Argument in Favor

OREGONIANS DESERVE A CHOICE!

No matter what our personal food decisions are, Oregonians all agree we deserve a choice - the choice to buy and eat genetically-modified organisms or not.

There are Oregonians with
- allergies to genetically-modified-organisms
- religious concerns about genetically-modified organisms
- personal health concerns about genetically-modified organisms
- environmental and social concerns about genetically-modified organisms

But none of these countless thousands of Oregonians can make a simple choice - because foods containing genetically-modified organisms are not labeled in our state.

This common-sense proposal should not be contentious - after all, consumer choice is the very basis of a healthy market economy. If products list common ingredients like wheat, sugar and salt, why should they not also list genetically-modified organisms?

Corporations that profit from the marketing of genetically-modified organisms will argue that labeling is unnecessary and too expensive. Nonsense. We heard those same arguments from corporations when the public asked for seat belts and air-bags to be required in cars.

While labeling is a simple step, our thousands of customers and members believe that Oregon deserves greater protection from genetically-modified organisms. In short, we believe that genetically-modified organisms do not belong on our dinner plates or in our environment.

As a first step, Oregonians needs a chance to choose.

OREGONIANS DESERVE A CHOICE!
VOTE YES ON 27!

People's Food Cooperative, Portland, OR
Alberta Cooperative Grocery, Portland, OR

(This information furnished by Rolf Skar, Board President, People's Food Cooperative; Alberta Cooperative Grocery.)

Argument in Favor

Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.
Vote Yes On Measure 27

Our family has been farming in Oregon for 116 years (4 generations). We understand the need for advanced research and modern agricultural sciences. Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc. has received national recognition for advanced "sustainable farming practices". We support measure 27 for three reasons:

Chemical Residues in Food...

Crop Contamination... Consumers Should Know... For the past 100 years in the U.S., we have focused agricultural research on increasing yields to provide cheap food for the consumer in order to "feed the world". In Oregon, we are close to "feeding the farmers", as we have put so many good farms out of business. We need to focus on niches, and specialty markets to survive. We want consumers to trust we are growing the healthiest food products possible. Measure 27 helps communicate this trust. Most important, it helps consumers make an informed choice.

Bill & Karla Chambers, Owners
Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.

Vote Yes on Measure 27

(This information furnished by Karla Chambers, Owner, Stahlbush Island Farms.)

Argument in Favor

Let Consumers Know What's In Their Food - Vote Yes on Measure 27

The more than 15,000 members of the following consumer-owned grocery cooperatives simply want to know what is in their food.

We are asking for basic consumer information. Measure 27 is not designed to stop biotech research, but to give consumers the information we need in order to choose whether or not to consume genetically engineered (GE) food.

Many experts question the consumption of food made with GE ingredients without more in-depth, long-term studies.

They feel these products have been released without broad consideration of the long-term effects. We have experienced many new technologies hailed as innovative enhancements of our quality of life, only to discover serious problems years later. Problems that would not have impacted so many people if adequate long term research had been done before approving them for public use.

Concerns regarding a negative effect on our state's economy and your cost of groceries are unfounded.

The European Union and Japan require labeling of GE foods, and major US food manufacturers as well as Oregon potato farmers are already supplying labeled products for export. It has not measurably affected the cost of foods in those countries.

Very little GE food is grown in Oregon. The largest farmers cooperative in our state has chosen to go GE free to make sure that it can satisfy it's Pacific Rim customers. It won't hurt our farmers, but will assure them that they can continue to have access to foreign markets with a label that will give them an advantage over other agricultural states.

Major manufacturers already label for the rest of the world. Vote yes to give Oregonians the same RIGHT TO KNOW what is in OUR food.

The consumer-owners of:

(This information furnished by Laurie Heilman, First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op.)

Argument in Favor

Vote Yes on 27

Is the truth about genetically engineered food being reported?

In 2001, the prestigious "Goldman Environmental Prize" www.goldmanprize.org was awarded to six environmental heroes, including two journalists who upheld truth about genetically engineered food and consequently lost their jobs.

"In late 1996, journalists Jane Akre and Steve Wilson began investigating rBGH, the genetically modified growth hormone American dairies have been injecting into their cows. As investigative reporters for the Fox Television affiliate in Tampa, Florida, they discovered that while the hormone had been banned in Canada, Europe and most other countries, millions of Americans were unknowingly drinking milk from rBGH-treated cows. The duo documented how the hormone, which can harm cows, was approved by the government as a veterinary drug without adequately testing its effects on children and adults who drink rBGH milk. They also uncovered studies linking its effects to cancer in humans. Just before broadcast, the station cancelled the widely promoted reports after Monsanto, the hormone manufacturer, threatened Fox News with "dire consequences" if the stories aired. Under pressure from Fox lawyers, the husband-and-wife team rewrote the story more than 80 times. After threats of dismissal and offers of six-figure sums to drop their ethical objections and keep quiet, they were fired in December 1997. In 1998, Akre won a suit against Fox for violating Florida's Whistleblower Law, which makes it illegal to retaliate against a worker who threatens to reveal employer misconduct...".
http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipients/recipientProfile.cfm?recipientID=106, 8/23/02

Other Awards

"BOULDER, Colo .. special award for Courage in Journalism from the Alliance for Democracy", -www.foxbghsuit.com, (4/30/99)

"WASHINGTON, D.C. ...The Joe A. Calloway Award for Civic Courage was presented to [Akre and Wilson] ...by the Shafeek Nader Trust For The Community Interest" -www.foxbghsuit.com, (12/16/98)

"LOS ANGELES - The national Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) presented [Akre and Wilson] its Award for Ethics...only the fourth time the group has bestowed such an ethics honor in its 89-year history'." -www.foxbghsuit.com, (10/24/98)

Jeff Peckman
www.bigg-alliance.org

(This information furnished by Jeff Peckman, B.I.G.G. Alliance.)

Argument in Favor

Endorsements for Measure 27

Union of Concerned Scientists
Democratic Party of Oregon
Sierra Club
James K. Wyerman, Executive Director, 20/20 Vision
Organic Consumers Association
Washington Biotechnology Action Council
Carol Merrick, Chair, EarthSave Portland/Vancouver Chapter
Britt Bailey, Senior Associate, Center for Ethics and Toxins (Cetos)
Prof. Philip L. Bereano
Charles Margulis, GE Campaigner, Greenpeace USA
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

"Hagelin, NLP Support Oregon Initiative to Label GE Food
...I encourage all supporters of the Natural Law Party and advocates for safe food to support this initiative campaign in every way possible. Our self-governing power is eroding faster than we can imagine. We must reassert control directly through such ballot measures and reign in our runaway government, currently in the grip of special interests." John Hagelin, Natural Law Party, http://www.natural-law.org/enews/2002_02_20.html

"Consumers have a basic right to labels telling them what's in their food and how it was produced.    Labels make possible informed choices among foods based on personal values. Vegetables approved by FDA on the basis of safety considerations, for example, might nevertheless be offensive to those wanting to avoid consuming animal genes. Without labeling, consumers never know whether animal genes are present.
    In addition, labels allow consumers to influence the decisions about production. With labels, consumers can vote "with their forks" for alternatives to genetic engineering (of which there are many). Without labeling, consumers are stuck with a technology chosen primarily by the biotechnology industry and government.
    Finally, labeling allows for the monitoring of any adverse health effects caused by genetic engineering. Without labeling, consumers have no chance of connecting unexpected ills to particular foods.
    We live in an age adept at managing information. Oregon's Measure 27 uses our technology to give consumers choice and power. - Margaret Mellon Ph.D., J.D., Director, Food and Environment Program Union of Concerned Scientists" ­ http://www.thecampaign.org/states/oregon-act.htm 8/23/02

See www.labelgefoods.org for more endorsements

(This information furnished by Donna Harris, Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Foods.)

Argument in Favor

The Pacific Green Party supports the right of all Oregonians to be informed about ingredients in the food we eat. The ability to make healthy food choices is a human right.

Genetic engineering alters genes and transfers them from one organism to another. The resulting products are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A biochemist might insert selected genes from soil bacteria into potatoes to increase yield, or alter the vegetable so it's pesticide tolerant. Two-thirds of our food is genetically modified ­ including staples like corn and soybeans. The act of restructuring just these two foods affects breads, yogurts, infant formula, ice cream, vitamin E, chocolate, alcohol, powdered sugar, salad dressings and many more. Yet our food producers refuse to provide the information that would allow us to make informed choices about what we take into our bodies as nourishment.

Buying food is the not the same as volunteering to be part of an experiment. Yet since 1996, when genetically modified organisms began appearing in our food without our knowledge, American consumers have been treated as guinea pigs. There is no proof that foods containing these ingredients are safe to eat. If individuals want to participate in experiments to determine the effect of GMO foods, that should be a conscious choice. It should not imposed on all of us by keeping food content a secret.

More than thirty-five countries, containing half the world's population, either have or are adopting GMO labeling laws. U.S. exports to these countries are already being labeled, so cost is not a factor. Ninety percent of Americans support GMO labeling.

This is another case of corporate greed stepping on basic human rights. Our commercial food producers seem to have forgotten the duty that comes with the opportunity to sell their wares. That duty is to inform consumers about what they purchase. Food is essential for life, it is vital that we know what we eat. Please vote yes on Measure 27.

(This information furnished by Hope Marston, Pacific Green Party of Oregon.)

Explanatory Statement

Arguments in Opposition

Statewide Measures

Table of Contents