IOWA CITY, IA (NOV. 6, 2014) – The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) wishes to thank the Right to Know Oregon and Colorado GMO campaigns for their hard work to pass Measure 92 and Proposition 105 to label GMO foods. The campaigns drew support from a broad range of grassroots organizations, including all seven of NCGA’s Oregon co-ops and Colorado member co-op Durango Natural Foods. However, campaigns in both states were vastly outspent by anti-labeling forces who poured more than $36 million into their efforts to deny us the right to know what’s in our food.
In Oregon, Measure 92 failed by just one percentage point despite being outspent by $12 million, and in Colorado, opponents poured $16.5 million against Prop 105. In comparison, the Right to Know Colorado GMO campaign had $895,682 to spend (just 24 cents per registered voter), and ultimately failed at the polls despite strong grassroots support.
“Americans want GMO foods labeled. Oregon and Colorado exemplify the growing momentum across the U.S. in favor of GMO labeling,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA. “Shoppers deserve the right to know what's in the food they buy. Clear and proper labeling of food containing GMOs is key to empowering consumers to make informed purchase decisions.”
GMO labeling initiatives are active in over thirty U.S. states, yet Congress is considering a national bill, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which casts a shadow on the grassroots movement. This benevolent sounding bill, backed by large biotech and food manufacturers, would merely codify the existing, inadequate system of voluntary labeling. Further, this bill would nullify GMO labeling laws already on the books in Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut where citizens have clearly voiced their support for the right to know. NCGA urges our Congressional leaders to reject this misleading bill, which has been dubbed the Deny Americans the Right-to-Know, or “DARK,” Act.
More than 60 countries around the world require GMO labeling, and surveys consistently show that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers across a broad range of political and social demographics want GMO foods labeled. NCGA supports The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions about the food they eat and feed their families. NCGA is an active supporter of the Just Label It campaign, a national coalition of more than 650 organizations, which calls for the mandatory, federally enforced labeling of GMO foods.
Until GMOs are labeled, consumers who wish to avoid GMO foods, and the toxic pesticides they are often engineered to withstand, can look to the USDA Certified Organic label.
National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCGA helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 143 member and associate co-ops operate more than 190 storefronts in 38 states with combined annual sales over $1.7 billion. NCGA is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a Certified B Corporation. For a map of NCGA member and associate co-ops, visit www.ncga.coop. To learn more about co-ops, visit www.strongertogether.coop.