CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The statewide debate about labeling foods containing genetically modified organisms might not end on the same side as the local elections.
A recent citizens’ review polled 20 random voters for their recommendations on measures in the election this fall. The panel found that labels required by measure 92 would not give customers any more information than what they can already find in current labeling practices.
Volunteers from Klamath, Jackson, and Josephine counties are back this week from a statewide citizen review panel held up in Salem. After three and a half days and several presentations on both sides of the GMO debate, the panelists voted 11 to 9, opposing measure 92.
A local participant says the majority shared the same opinion. “It’s a more expense for the farmers that, really isn’t necessary. Why do something that’s already done? It’s just another bill that, that they didn’t think was necessary,” says Thelma Holland, a Central Point Representative.
Many nutritionists say there’s already a label that identifies “non” GMO foods. Anything that has the “USDA Organic” label is at least 95% GMO free. Nutritionists say shoppers should expect all other products without the organic label to contain some traces of GMOs.
There are several stores in our area that offer more foods with USDA organic labels. Natural Grocers is one that says they only sell natural and organic foods, but even here, it’s important to check labels because just because something claims to be “natural” does not mean it’s free of GMOs.