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Josephine County Restaurants Offer GMO-Free Options


In Portland, locals hardly bat an eye over the many, many symbols that follow menu items in a restaurant: Local, free-range, vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, heart healthy, mild, medium, HOTHOTHOT … The list seems to go on forever.

But some Southern Oregon restaurants have introduced a new symbol for dishes that don’t contain any genetically modified organisms — something I’m sure some Portlanders wouldn’t mind to adding to the list.

A few local eateries in Josephine County are highlighting GMO-free food options with a small leaf logo, as The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports. The effort is tied to a heated local ballot measure that will be decided in next week’s primary election.

Measure 17-58 would ban the planting or growing of any plant with DNA that has been altered by GMOs.

As Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty reported in April, that campaign, and a similar measure in neighboring Jackson County, have attracted a lot of attention — and money — from around the state and across the nation.

The campaign pits those with environmental and health concerns against groups worried about the economic impact of the proposed law.

So far seven eateries in Grants Pass, one in Cave Junction and one in Williams are marking GMO-free options.

“People are thrilled to know they have an option for GMO-free foods and are appreciative, almost to the point of tears,” restaurant owner Glen Hendricks said in an interview with the newspaper. “We had the best January and February here since the first year we opened, and I’m confident to some extent we’re being embraced by the community that appreciates GMO-free, organic and gluten-free.”

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