Colorado voters to decide if genetically modified foods will be labeled

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DENVER -- Colorado voters will get to decide in November whether or not food companies should be required to label which products contain Genetically Modified Organisms, better known as GMOs.

Over 170,000 signed a petition that will force the issue onto the statewide ballot. Proponents of the plan believe consumers should be more aware of what is inside their food but some worry the added labels could result in increased food prices.

Some small business owners are also they won't be able to afford to comply with the new labeling requirement, should the initiative pass November 4.

"More than 85 percent of packaged goods have GMOs in them. And we just don't know that," said Larry Cooper in an interview with FOX31 Denver on Wednesday. Cooper and several other people are leading the charge to change Colorado law to reflect more awareness about GMO products.

The ballot initiative reads as follows:

Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning labeling of genetically modified food; and, in connection therewith, requiring food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, "Produced With Genetic Engineering" starting on July 1, 2016; exempting some foods including but not limited to food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food; requiring the Colorado department of public health and environment to regulate the labeling of genetically modified food; and specifying that no private right of action is created for failure to conform to the labeling requirements?