Washington Voters Defeating GMO Labeling Initiative

Nov 6, 2013

A record twenty-two million dollars in opposition spending appears to have paid off for grocery, seed and pesticide makers. Washington voters  Tuesday night were rejecting a ballot measure to require GMO-labeling of foods. Opponents declared victory.

Initiative 522 supporters listen to speeches after early vote returns showed the measuring trailing by nearly double-digits.
Credit Austin Jenkins

The music at the Yes on 522 party in Seattle’s Pioneer Square was upbeat. But the speeches were of the more subdued variety. Trudy Bialic of PCC Natural Markets is a campaign spokesperson. She addressed the crowd after early returns showed the measure down by nearly double digits.

Trudy Bialic: “It’s been a heck of a ride and I really, really think that no matter what we’re going to have labeling and I sure hope it’s in July of 2015.”

That’s when labeling would begin if Initiative 522 passed. Supporters still hold out hope that late arriving ballots could close the gap. One speaker suggested that, if nothing else, the campaign succeeded in getting the term GMO on the radar of most Washington voters. A similar measure was defeated in California last year. And another could be on the ballot in Oregon next year.