On election day in America, Tuesday November 5, Oregon voters will decide whether the state should label genetically engineered foods produced or sold in Oregon. On the ballot will be Measure 27, a regulation which would would require all foods made with or derived from genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such. It is estimated that 70% of all processed foods sold in grocery stores include such ingredients.
Sir Paul heard about Measure 27 last week when he was in Portland. Oregon for his concert last Friday. He immediately requested the phone number of Mel Bankoff of Eugene, Oregon who, as the founder of the organic Emerald Valley Kitchens, has been active in the campaign to require labeling of genetically modified foods. Mr. Bankoff said he was stunned when he received a phone call from Sir Paul on Tuesday: "I thought someone was pulling a practical joke."
Sir Paul offered to help with the campaign. He quickly agreed to Mr. Bankoff's suggestion that he record a radio advertisement in support of "Measure 27" and proceeded to go to a radio station in Los Angeles where he phoned in his 30 second endorsement of the measure on his cell phone. As of yesterday, radio listeners all over Oregon are hearing Sir Paul tell them:"If it's labeled, then people have a choice as to what to buy. Yes on 27, so let it be labeled."Mr. Bankoff believes Sir Paul's endorsement will help the campaign: "I think Sir Paul is someone who is very respected in the minds and hearts of people throughout the world."
(November 6 update) In spite of Sir Paul's support, Oregon voters overwhelmingly turned down the measure. Seventy-three per cent of voters rejected the measure that would have made Oregon the first U.S. state to label genetically modified foods.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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