WASHINGTON – Pointing to the narrow defeat of a Washington state ballot initiative, the Center for Food Safety vows to continue its fight to label foods made with genetic engineering.

The CFS attributes the defeat of Initiative 522 to a heavily funded opposition campaign. But the CFS is confident that labeling of genetically engineered foods will soon become a reality.

"The question is not if GE foods will be labeled. The question is when," Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said in a statement. The CFS is a national, non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization.

Despite the defeat in Washington state, a ballot initiative is under development in Oregon, and legislative battles are heating up in New York and Vermont, Kimbrell noted.

Another big supporter of I-522, David Bronner, chief executive officer of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, says GMO labeling still has potential, pointing out that the initiative won about 49% of the Washington state vote in an off-year election with historically low turnout that skewed older and more conservative.

He predicts that, if put up for revote, the initiative will pass in the 2016 presidential election, when “younger and more progressive” voters will turn out in force.