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Oregon Senator Tries To Find GMO Labeling Compromise


Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is trying to stop a federal ban on labeling products as containing genetically modified organisms.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., hopes to stop a federal ban on labeling food as containing genetically modified organisms.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., hopes to stop a federal ban on labeling food as containing genetically modified organisms.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

A bill to ban any state from requiring a GMO label could reach the Senate floor next week. One has already passed the House.

In an effort to compromise, Merkley is pushing another bill that would permit GMO labeling, but only using small type on the back of the product.

Speaking outside a Portland grocery store Friday, he said people should have the ability to easily know what ingredients are in their food.

“The food producers said we need a single standard across the country. This gives that to them,” Merkley said. “They’ve said they don’t want anything on the front of the table that would appear pejorative. This gives that to them.”

GMO supporters say humans have been manipulating the genetics of crops for thousands of years and the technology is needed to increase crop production levels.

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