GMO

Brennan Linsley / AP Photo

 

An Idaho lawmaker and farmer said the state should press the federal government to establish a national labeling system for genetically engineered foods before states create their own.

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Oregon voters may get the chance to require food companies to label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Sponsors of an initiative to require labels turned in more than 150,000 signatures — nearly double the required minimum — Wednesday in an effort to make the ballot this November. Opponents have already denounced the measure.

It's easy to think of "organic" and "non-GMO" as the best buddies of food. They sit comfortably beside each other in the same grocery stores — most prominently, in Whole Foods Market. Culturally, they also seem to occupy the same space. Both reject aspects of mainstream industrial agriculture.

In fact, the increasingly successful movement to eliminate genetically modified crops — GMOs — from food is turning out to be organic's false friend. The non-GMO label has become a cheaper alternative to organic.

Tom Paulson / Associated Press

An industry group that contributed heavily to defeat a measure that would have required labeling genetically engineered foods says it reported its activity to state watchdogs and hopes to resolve a lawsuit alleging it violated Washington's campaign finance laws.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Voters in Washington state have rejected a ballot measure requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The campaign over Initiative 522 drew millions of dollars from out of state and was one of the costliest initiative fights in state history.

Austin Jenkins

 

A Washington state ballot measure requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods is failing in early returns.

The campaign over Initiative 522 has been one of the costliest initiative fights in state history, drawing millions of dollars from out of state.

Associated Press

Voters are about to decide whether Washington becomes the first state in the nation to label some genetically engineered foods.

A poll last month showed Initiative 522 with a 4-point lead and 12-percent of voters still undecided.

Associated Press

Biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. on Monday dumped another $540,000 to fight a Washington state ballot measure requiring genetically engineered foods be labeled.

The group opposing Initiative 522 has now raised nearly $22 million, setting a record for the most raised by an initiative campaign in state history. Food-labeling supporters have raised about $6.8 million.

Gerry Hadden

Should consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat?

That’s the question at the heart of Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically-engineered foods and seed sold in Washington. 

Most people want the choice, but whether the initiative would actually give shoppers useful information is up for debate. One place to look for answers is the European Union, where the world’s first GE labeling requirements took effect nearly two decades ago.                 

Tom Paulson / Humanosphere

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday the Grocery Manufacturers Association will disclose who its donors are, as it campaigns against a ballot Initiative 522.

Ferguson's office had planned to take the industry group to court, saying it violated Washington’s campaign finance law that requires donors to be public. The Washington, D.C.-based GMA represents more than 300 companies.

Anna King

From the lush valleys north of Seattle to the orchards of the Columbia Basin, to the rolling fields between Spokane and Walla Walla, the state of Washington grows about 300 types of crops.

Ask any of those farmers about Initiative 522, and you’ll get every kind of answer. If passed this November, it would require labeling of genetically modified foods. The initiative would not ban GMOs, as they’re known, but it could have a big impact on Washington agriculture.

In the food business, everything comes down to that moment when a shopper studies a label and decides whether to buy or move on. That’s why food producers have a big interest in Washington’s Initiative 522 on the ballot next month.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

It’s the hottest issue on Washington’s fall ballot: an initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. But Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, says he hasn’t decided how he’ll vote on Initiative 522.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

Agribusiness and the food industry have pumped a record $17 million into Washington state to defeat Initiative 522, the ballot measure to require labeling of some foods and beverages with genetically engineered ingredients.

Before six months ago, it’s doubtful very many grocery shoppers in Washington had even heard the acronym GMO, much less could tell you what it stands for. Now, most people know it stands for genetically-modified organism.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has given $5 million to the campaign to defeat a Washington state ballot measure requiring labeling of genetically modified foods.

With the food industry trade group's donation Friday, opponents have now raised about $17.1 million to defeat Initiative 522. Supporters have raised about $4.7 million.

<<Jonny Boy>> / Flickr

The Senate is seeking to reverse a controversial law that allows farmers to harvest genetically modified crops even when the crops are caught up in legal battles.

The law was passed as part of a spending bill earlier this year and has become a flashpoint in the national debate over genetically engineered foods.

Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

The first television ads have aired in the battle over a statewide initiative that would mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Opponents and supporters of Initiative 522 rolled out TV spots Monday morning in campaigns that are expected to cost millions of dollars.

Michelle and Anna / Flickr

Washington agriculture researchers are investigating whether genetically-modified alfalfa was growing where it wasn’t supposed to. 

An Eastern Washington farmer's alfalfa has been rejected by a broker that says it found evidence of genetically modified pesticide resistance.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has voted, 8 to 1, to support Initiative 522, which would  require labels on food products that have been genetically modified or contain genetically-modified ingredients.

The council's decision comes ahead of the general election when voters will decide whether to approve the initiative. 

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

Washington voters will decide this fall whether foods that contain genetically-engineered ingredients must carry a special label.

Initiative 522 is similar to a California measure that failed last fall. But so far, the race for political contributions is shaping up quite differently. 

<<Jonny Boy>> / Flickr

Researchers at Washington State University say they have found no additional sign of the genetically modified wheat discovered at one Oregon farm this spring.

The tests involved wheat varieties developed at Washington State, the University of Idaho and Oregon State University, plus varieties from Westbred/Monsanto and Limagrain Cereal Seeds.

Anna King

The first bushels of Northwest wheat are coming off honey-colored fields in southeast Washington. The harvest comes just as Japan and South Korea say they’ll resume buying Northwest wheat.

The Asian countries banned the U.S. grain after some genetically modified plants were found in Oregon this spring. The rebound is a huge relief for Northwest farmers, but market confidence remains shaken.

Okanogan Specialty Fruits

With voters to decide on the fate of Initiative 522 in November, the debate over the labeling of genetically-modified foods is heating up.

Genetically-modified foods use a genetic piece of another plant or animal to modify the quality of the food, or make it easier for a grower to produce. But there are some who worry about the possible ill health effects such products may have.

<<Jonny Boy>> / Flickr

Monsanto Co. is floating the theory that some of the company's detractors may have intentionally planted genetically modified wheat discovered in an Oregon field last month.

<< Jonny Boy >> / Flickr

State voters will decide on the fate of an initiative that would require labeling of genetically modified food products. 

Initiative 522 would require food products to bear a label informing the consumer if they contain any genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The public signature-gathering campaign for the bill was successful, and while it allowed the Washington state Legislature an opportunity to decide its fate, its language mandated that if lawmakers took no action, the initiative would automatically move to a public vote in November.

Japan suspends white winter wheat purchases from Northwest

May 30, 2013
<< Jonny Boy >> / Flickr

Japan has temporarily suspended white winter wheat purchases from the Pacific Northwest.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture announced the decision after U.S. regulators found genetically modified wheat on an Oregon farm.

<< Jonny Boy >> / Flickr

The Agriculture Department says a non-approved strain of genetically engineered wheat has been discovered in an Oregon field.

USDA officials said the wheat is the same strain as a genetically modified wheat that was tested by seed giant Monsanto a decade ago but never approved. Monsanto stopped testing that product in Oregon and several other states in 2005.

Okanogan Specialty Fruits

As Idaho's J.R. Simplot Co promotes its genetically engineered potato, a tiny Canadian apple breeder is working on a similar product that could provide a glimpse of how consumers react.

Okanogan Specialty Fruits expects U.S. and Canadian government approval for Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apple varieties with their genes modified to halt browning.

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