6-Regulation: Industry fights Oregon initiative on GE food
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TITLE: Industry fights Oregon initiative on genetically modified food
SOURCE: Associated Press/The Seattle Times, by Charles E. Beggs
DATE: Oct 25, 2002
------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------
Industry fights Oregon initiative on genetically modified food
SALEM, Ore. Ñ The food industry has raised more than $5 million in its
efforts to defeat a Nov. 5 ballot measure that would make Oregon the first
state to mandate labeling of genetically engineered food.
A second round of campaign-finance reports filed yesterday with the
Secretary of State's Office showed donations of nearly $5.1 million and
spending of $4.5 million against Measure 27.
The reports cover contributions and spending in the 30 days ending last
Sunday. Backers of the initiative measure reported raising $194,000.
Donors against the measure are a who's who of the nation's big food and
beverage companies: $161,000 from Kraft Foods, $52,000 from Campbell's
Soup, $38,000 from Pepsi and $35,000 from the National Soft Drink
Foes of the measure have invested heavily in television advertising, with
the pitch that there are already enough regulations and the proposal would
pile on mounds of expensive red tape.
Supporters argue that consumers have a right to know about genetic
Most of the money raised to fight the measure, $3.7 million, came from
CropLife International of Brussels, Belgium, which is composed of major
The largest amount chipped in by a supporter of the measure was a $36,000
loan from Mel Bankoff, operator of Emerald Valley Kitchen, a Eugene food
Spending against Measure 27 dwarfed outlays for or against any other
measure on the ballot.
The insurance industry has spent more than $1 million fighting Measure 23,
which would create a universal health-care plan for all Oregonians funded
by an income-tax increase and a payroll tax on employers.
Major donations to the opposition group, the Coalition Against Unhealthy
Taxes, include $50,000 each from State Farm Insurance and Premera Blue
Backers of that initiative reported raising $37,000.
Supporters of a measure to outlaw paying initiative-petition circulators by
the signature have raised $885,000, largely from organized labor.
The National Education Association (NEA) donated $100,000 in the most
recent reporting period, and the Oregon Public Employees Union contributed
Aloha businessman Loren Parks, a frequent big contributor to initiative
causes, has donated $600,000 in an effort to pass measures 21 and 22, which
would change the way judges are elected.
A political committee working to defeat the measures, funded mostly by
judges and lawyers, has raised $180,000 and spent $87,000.
Supporters of boosting the state's minimum wage are outspending opponents.
A largely labor-funded coalition backing Measure 25 has raised $215,000 and
spent $179,000. The NEA and the Oregon Education Association donated a
total of $20,000, as did Oregon Action, a Portland-based advocacy group for
Save Oregon Jobs, opposing the measure, has raised $149,000 and spent
$102,000. The biggest donation was $40,000 from the Oregon Association of
Nurserymen, followed by $20,000 from Burger King.
| GENET |
| European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering |
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