Oregon Recount Confirms GMO Labeling Defeat

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Dec 12, 2014

Oregon media are reporting the recount of a ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods did indeed fail by a narrow margin. Despite the initial threat of a lawsuit questioning why some ballots were rejected, the main group backing the proposition conceded defeat.

"The Yes on Measure 92 campaign is ending its efforts today," reads the notice on oregonrighttoknow.org. "While Measure 92 will not emerge victorious in this election, our growing movement to label genetically engineered foods is neither defeated nor discouraged."

Immediately after the Nov. 4 election, Measure 92 appeared to fail by just 812 votes out of 1.5 million cast. Any election or initiative decided by less than a 0.2 percent margin (this one was just 0.06 percent) automatically triggers a recount. The second count showed a net shift of 25 votes against the initiative. While results from all 36 counties were counted, the total has not yet been certified by the Secretary of State.

The proposition would have required processors and retailers to indicate if foods are genetically engineered or are made with genetically engineered ingredients.

Supporters of the measure filed a lawsuit questioning why 13,000 ballots (or 4,600 in another media report) were rejected during the statewide recount, but a judge rejected their claim. Votes are rejected when the signature on the ballot does not match the one on file with the state or there is no signature.