Colorado Supreme Court approves Colorado GMO labeling initiative
Foods in Colorado could get new labeling next year, now that the Colorado Supreme Court has approved the wording of Right To Know Colorado, an initiative to label genetically modified foods --commonly called GMOs -- on food packaging. Now supporters just need to collect enough signatures to get it on the ballot -- and then convince Colorado voters to approve the measure.
The Right to Know Colorado campaign started a year ago as an effort to give Coloradans the opportunity to make informed decisions about their diet through mandatory labeling of GMOs in food, something that has long been absent from food labeling.
Now, with the new Supreme Court ruling, the organization will be allowed to circulate petitions and collect the more than 80,000 signatures needed to place the initiative on the November 2014 ballot. The campaign plans to partner with local farmers, parents, natural-organic and non-GMO food retailers, and consumer advocacy organizations to help get the initiative on the ballot.
"We are a state that has always prided itself in our organic and natural food business, so we expect to have a significant business support," says Rick Ridder, political advisor to the Right to Know Colorado campaign. "We are actually planning on getting around140,000 signatures."
As of now, there are no federal GMO labeling requirements in place. And estimated 80 percent of processed food contains GMOs, primarily from corn, soy, sugar betters, canola and other GMO crops.
"We have mandatory labeling for trans fat to sugar content," Ridder says. "This is just a matter of letting people know whether the products that they are eating contain genetically modified organisms. It's basically having the consumer make the decision as to what they want in their food product, not just the manufacturer."
Colorado is just one of many states now campaigning for mandatory labeling of GMOs. Others include Oregon, Arizona, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania.
For more information on the campaign, visit Colorado Right To Know.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Denver dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.