Washington Voters Reject Mandatory Labels for Genetically Modified Foods

Published November 6, 2013

Voters in Washington state soundly rejected a ballot initiative that would require labels on all foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The final tally in yesterday’s vote was 55 percent opposed to the mandatory labels and only 45 percent supporting them.

Polls in early September showed greater than 60 percent support for the labeling requirement, but polls showed a statistical dead heat in mid-October. Supporters of the mandatory labels ran into stiff headwinds when the Washington State Academy of Sciences published a study a month before the election finding a mandatory labeling law would raise food prices in the state. The study also noted genetically modified crops are already ingredients in a broad array of foods in Washington and throughout the world.

Voters in California rejected a similar ballot initiative last year.