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GMO Labeling in Oregon: Measure 92 is No. 5 in Nation for TV Ad Spending

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on October 23, 2014 - 9:14pm

By: Michelle Brence

Oregon's Ballot Measure 92 to require labeling of genetically engineered foods is No. 5 in the nation for money spent on television advertising, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

More than $5 million has been spent on TV ads in the campaign, according to the center -- $3 million by opponents, $2.1 million by backers.

The center – a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. – rolled out its ad tracker for state ballot measures Thursday. The tracking tool joins two others, one on spending in state races and one in U.S. Senate races.

The GMO measure is the costliest in Oregon history at more than $17 million given so far, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive interactive tracking tool on donations in the Measure 92 campaign. The vast majority of the money on both sides is flowing in from out of state.

Opponents include Monsanto Co., which has given more than $4 million, and PepsiCo Inc., at $1.4 million. Supporters include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which has donated more than $1.2 million, and the Center for Food Safety Action Fund with $1.2 million.

The Center for Public Integrity notes that Oregon is among states where more money is being spent on TV ads for ballot measures than for TV ads in all state races.

Overall, an estimated $7.6 million has been spent on TV ads to support or fight measures on Oregon's Nov. 4 ballot. In addition to the GMO measure, the center tallied spending on two others. All amounts are estimates:

  • Measure 90, to switch to a top-two primary system: $1.4 million, with $1.2 million from supporters and $230,000 from opponents.
  • Measure 91, to legalize recreational marijuana: $1.1 million, all from supporters.

Nationwide, a California measure to require drug testing for doctors and to raise malpractice caps is generating the most spending on TV ads: $23.1 million spent on 13,700 ads. Most of the money, an estimated $19.1 million, is being spent by opponents.

The Center for Public Integrity also looked at spending in U.S. Senate races, finding that TV ads for U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and his Republican opponent, Monica Wehby, have topped 16,000 and a cost of $6.1 million.

Check out all these tools for tracking campaign donations and spending:

Originally Published: Oregon Live

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