Voters in Jackson County approve GMO ban

Activists in Oregon announced a signature gathering campaign to place a ballot measure requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods on the statewide ballot in November on May 15, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Activists in Oregon announced a signature gathering campaign to place a ballot measure requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods on the statewide ballot in November on May 15, 2014. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Voters in Jackson County, Oregon, have voted to ban genetically engineered crops.

With most of the ballots counted Tuesday, voters in the southern Oregon county were passing the measure by a 2-to-1 margin. A similar measure enjoyed a strong lead in neighboring Josephine County.

Though it’s a local issue, the measure attracted national interest and money. A pair of competing campaigns raised $1.3 million to sway Jackson County’s 120,000 registered voters.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill last fall that prohibits local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops. An exception was made for Jackson County because its measure had already qualified for the ballot.

Josephine County opponents of GMOs went ahead with their own measure, saying they’ll let the courts decide if the vote is valid.

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