Voters shoot down GMO labeling |

Voters shoot down GMO labeling

The Carbondale Community Food Co-op displays non-GMO food items in a photo taken this week.
Christopher Mullen / Post Independent |

An attempt to label certain genetically modified foods didn’t fare well in Tuesday’s election.

Statewide, Proposition 105 failed 68 percent to 32 percent.

The results weren’t unexpected. The No on Proposition 105 Coalition outspent Right to Know Colorado more than 20 to 1, and more than a dozen newspapers around the state encouraged their readers to vote against the item.

Companies including Whole Foods and the Hain Celestial Group supported the measure, but the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Club 20, the Colorado Farm Bureau and numerous other agricultural organizations came out against it.

“This is the most unified agricultural coalition we’ve had against a proposal. There’s a respect for the agricultural economy in the state,” said Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft. “We think it’s a tremendous victory for farmers, consumers, food manufacturers and taxpayers. We had a high-level campaign. We presented the facts as we saw them, and editorial boards and citizens across the state agreed with us.”

The margin was slightly closer in Garfield County, with 40 percent for and 60 percent against. Many local supporters seemed to feel that, while flawed, Proposition 105 was a step in the right direction.

In an interview with the Post Independent last month, Brook Le Van, founder and director of Sustainable Settings, called the proliferation of proprietary genetically modified organisms “a sin.”

“There are moral issues here,” he said. “The government is standing aside and letting the corporations dominate our means of production. This should be against the law. It takes away our freedom to produce our own food.”

Labeling of genetically modified foods has gained some traction in other states. Vermont has enacted a labeling law that is the target of a lawsuit, and voters in Oregon and Hawaii weighed measures of their own this election. As of 10 p.m. MST, Oregon Measure 92 was trailing narrowly. Results from Hawaii were not available.

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