GMO's

Lindsay Eyink

It may be Christmas before Oregonians know the outcome of a controversial ballot measure to label genetically-modified foods. The margin of defeat for Measure 92 shrank to 800 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

Sandeep Kaushik is spokesman for the Oregon Right to Know Coalition, a group that supports Measure 92. He says counties will be checking all ballots by hand.

Lindsay Eyink

A measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods was narrowly defeated by Oregon voters. Measure 92 was rejected by nearly 51 percent of voters with 49 percent approving. Opponents called the measure's failure a decisive victory. Spending on both sides was historic for Oregon. Opponents raised nearly $20 million, according to the Oregonian. Supporters raised about $8 million.

Supporters of Measure 92 said Oregon has the right to know if their food contains genetically engineered ingredients. Opponents said the labeling would increase food costs.

Meeting Date: September 12, 2014

Air Date: September 15, 2014

Speakers both for and against four of the seven ballot measures will try to persuade members and guests to vote pro or con. City Club has invited proponents and opponents to explain the measures and answer your questions about Alternative Driver Licenses, an Equal Rights Amendment, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms, and the Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative.

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Earthfix

A Lane County group chose Earth Day for their latest legal move. Today (Tuesday) “Support Local Food Rights” filed its third attempt at an ordinance to protect area farms and limit certain agricultural practices. 

Last month, a judge ruled that the previous version of the Lane County Local Food System Ordinance did not comply with pre-election requirements. Attorney Ann Kneeland says the county now has five days to decide if this newest incarnation is acceptable.

Kneeland: “If they determine it complies, the county will have a period of time to draft a ballot title.”

Desmond O'Boyle

Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio and about 40 students from the University of Oregon are pushing super markets to voluntarily label products containing Genetically Modified Organisms.

The Oregon Legislature and the U.S. Congress continue to debate GMO labeling. The Oregon Student Independent Research Group is taking the discussion directly to grocery stores. Recently, OSPIRG requested Market of Choice voluntarily label products. At the U of O Friday, OSPIRG Spokeswoman Hannah Picknell said so far the super market chain has been receptive.

Karen Richards

The group "Support Local Food Rights" continues to fight to get its anti-GMO initiative on the November ballot in Lane County. Today (Tuesday) a judge heard challenges to the measure's wording.

The local food group wants to restrict genetically engineered seeds from being grown in Lane County. A Junction City farmer who plants genetically modified sugar beets claims the title of the ordinance is not legal.

Photo by Desmond O'Boyle

About three hundred people attended a rally in downtown Eugene Saturday as part of a worldwide "March Against Monsanto" protest.

Concern has steadily grown over the use of Genetically Modified Organisms being used in farming practices. The agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto is the main proponent of such practices. The Oregon Senate has approved a bill limiting the ability for counties to ban the use of GMO's. Organizer and spokeswoman Sabrina Siegel says politicians need to stop taking money from big businesses.