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GMO labeling initiative makes it onto November ballot

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The struggle to figure out what contains GMO’s and what doesn’t may be coming to an end. An initiative in Oregon to require the labeling of genetically modified foods has qualified for a statewide vote in November.

If passed, the GMO Right to Know would require manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers to label raw and packaged foods produced entirely or partially by genetic engineering.

Pet food or food served in restaurants would not be included.

If voted in, the initiative would go into effect January of 2016.

This isn’t the first go-round with GMO labelling. In 2002, a measure was defeated in Oregon. Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut already have laws that require GMO’s to be identified on the label.

Pro GMO entities will again fight with both barrels blazing clouding the difference between hybrid food and genetically modified. Hybrid foods such as the boysenberry, are created at the farm level. Take the boysenberry for example. In the 1920's, a farmer in northern California spliced a European raspberry with a common blackberry and came up with a completely new berry, which was uncovered by Walter Knott of Knott's Berry Farm. There were no chemicals or evil scientists involved in the creation of the boysenberry, just a farmer and a couple of berry plants that he technically genetically engineered on his farm. Many hybrids are newer and not established enough to create seeds that will plant seedlings on their own. Although many are created by man, hybrids can and do happen naturally.

GMO, or genetically modified organisms can be any plant, animal or microorganism that has been genetically altered using molecular genetics techniques such as gene cloning and protein engineering. Plants like corn that has the pesticide Bt engineered into its genetic makeup to make it resistant to certain pests are GMO crops. Bt is a natural pesticide, but it would never naturally find its way into corn seed. GMO cannot happen naturally.

The best thing you can do is ignore the ads and educate yourself.

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