November 04, 2014: Two Wins, One Loss, and One Cliffhanger

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The slimmest of chances that Oregon’s Prop. 92 might still pass raises the pulse even though the probabilities are such that obtaining another 6900 YES votes from the remaining uncounted ballots portend otherwise.  Huffington Post live results as of 7 am EST, 11-11, show the current standing at a difference of 1 percentage point with 95% reporting:  50.5% NO; 49.5% YES

Prop. 92 was the most expensive state ballot measure campaign in Oregon’s history.  $21 million was spent by the labeling opponents, furnished primarily by biotech seed companies, Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer.  Another $15 million was spent in Colorado in a repetition of the same pattern followed in California in 2012, and Washington in 2013.  To date, opponents of labeling have spent an outrageous $106 million total in California, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon to squash consumers’ demand for transparency.

Clearly, the biotech industry has reason to worry.  In Humboldt County, California, voters approved an outright ban on GMOs, and in Maui County, Hawaii, residents passed a moratorium that could close out Monsanto’s extensive Maui County operations which they had one time bragged was the source of 80% of all their Bt corn seed for the world.  Monsanto has already announced their intention to file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the initiative.

Alika-2-231x300Click HERE to watch the video of IRT Executive Director, Jeffrey Smith’s interview with Alika Atay and leaders of the SHAKA (Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the ‘Aina) Movement about their victory.  Inspirational and touching as well as filled with practical advice for other activists who may wish to launch their own local efforts, the SHAKA story is one of great triumph of family values and love of the land over Big Ag and corporate farming.

 

Recap

WIN – Maui County, Hawaii.  The Maui GMO initiative placing a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms and their associated pesticide use, was passed:  50.2% YES; 47.9% NO.  The initiative calls for environmental and public health impact studies, public hearings, and a two-thirds vote and a determination by the Maui County Council that operations meet standards.  The initiative also calls for the establishment of criminal and civil penalties to be adopted and established for the County of Maui.

WIN – Humboldt County, California.  Genetic Contamination Prevention Ordinance, GMO Ban Initiative, Measure P, which will “prohibit the propagation, cultivation, raising, or growing of genetically modified organisms in Humboldt County,” was passed:  59.43% YES; 40.57% NO.

LOSS – State of Colorado.  The Colorado Mandatory Labeling of GMOs Initiative, Proposition 105, which would have required  any “prepackaged, processed food or raw agricultural commodity that has been produced using genetic modification” to include the label: “Produced with genetic engineering.” was defeated:  66.33% NO; 33.67% YES.

Too close to call – State of Oregon.  The Oregon Mandatory Labeling of GMOs Initiative, Measure 92 would mandate labeling of certain foodstuffs that were produced with or contain genetically modified organisms.  Returns continue to narrow with 95% of the ballots counted as of Tuesday, 11 November and currently stands at a difference of 1 percentage point:  50.5% NO; 49.5% YES.

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