Washington state voters Nov. 5 rejected a measure to label genetically modified (GM) foods and foods made with GM material.

The ballot initiative failed by approximately a 54 percent to 45 percent margin with about 30 percent of ballots, which are submitted by mail, counted.

The measure would have made Washington the first state to implement GM labeling and sparked a heated debate in the state, as did a similar failed measure in California in 2012.

An estimated $30 million was spent on advertising and other public messages between the two campaigns.

The No on 522 campaign took issue specifically with exemptions that appeared in the initiative, for instance foods purchased at restaurants, alcoholic beverages and meat and dairy products from animals fed GM grains.

NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates support the introduction of biotechnology into the wheat crop and voluntary labeling of food products that is consistent with U.S. law and international trade agreements and is truthful and not misleading.


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