Arizona GMO labeling ballot initiative appears likely

| | February 17, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The debate for labeling genetic modified foods, or products associated with genetically modified ingredients could take center stage in Arizona if a new initiative goes on the ballot for voters in November.

Jared Keen, the Arizona main proponent for the initiative, said that the initiative to require proper labeling on “genetically modified food or ingredients consisting of or made from genetically modified foods” – including meat and meat products – is a drive for consumer education.

Opponents of the idea, including the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, argue that labeling will “create doubt” and send a negative message that could imply that there is something inherently bad or unsafe about the products. Buyers, the spokesperson of the federation said, already have the option to avoid genetically modified foods by eating foods labeled “organic.”

A similar measure came up on the California ballot two years ago, but was defeated after a campaign against it was heavily financed by Monsanto, the infamous supplier of bioengineered seeds.

A precedent in Arizona already exists and mandates labeling of food for artificial flavors, colors or chemical preservatives.

The measure’s supporters have until July 3 to generate support from at least 172,809 valid signatures in order to get the measure on the November ballot.

Read the full, original article: GMO-labeling measure may be headed for ballot

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