WASHINGTON — While opponents claim victory, supporters of a Washington state proposal to label genetically engineered foods have not yet conceded defeat.


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“We’re still hopeful,” Rebecca Spector, West Coast director for the Center for Food Safety here, said of the outcome for Initiative 522. The CFS is a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization.

Because of Washington state’s vote-by-mail system, ballots had to be postmarked by Tuesday, Nov. 5, so the final tally may not be known for several days, Spector told SN.

“People could have mailed in their ballots yesterday,” Spector said.

Another supporter of 522, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, also said the results are too close to call.

“With potentially more than a third of the ballots left to be counted, we are not yet ready to concede in the fight to label GMOs in Washington state,” the company wrote on its Facebook page.

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But opponents, reacting to early returns showing the initiative trailing in most counties, claimed victory.

"We are pleased that the voters of Washington state rejected I-522 by a significant margin. I-522 was a complex and costly proposal that would have misled consumers, raised the price of groceries for Washington families and done nothing to improve food safety,” Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said in a statement.

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