Denver, CO. (PRWEB) August 08, 2014
The Advisory Board for the Colorado Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) Pilot today announced it has selected the genetically modified (GMO) food labeling initiative 48 for the first statewide CIR review process in Colorado. The selection is pending verification of signatures for ballot qualification by the Colorado Secretary of State.
The Colorado CIR Advisory Board, made up of a diverse cross section of Colorado leaders, selected genetically modified (GMO) food labeling from four initiatives expected on the November ballot.
“The Colorado CIR is an opportunity for Coloradans to test the effectiveness of the citizen jury model for the evaluation of ballot measures, which can be complex and confusing for voters,” said Cathy Shull, advisory board member and executive director of Progressive 15, a public policy organization representing Northeast Colorado. “The genetically modified food labeling initiative was selected for review because it could have broad impact on citizens across the state for years to come.”
The GMO food labeling initiative asks voters to change the Colorado Revised Statutes to require food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled "Produced With Genetic Engineering" starting on July 1, 2016.
The GMO food labeling initiative will be evaluated Sept. 7-10 by a 20-member citizen panel meeting at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. The randomly selected and demographically balanced group will hear from proponents and opponents of the measure, as well as neutral experts. On the last day, the panel will provide a “Citizens’ Statement” of facts and arguments for and against the initiative.
“GMO labeling is a complex issue that has garnered national attention,” said Gail Klapper, advisory board member and director of Colorado Forum, an organization comprised of business and civic leaders from across the state who work to achieve good public policy results for Colorado. “The Advisory Board felt that this issue deserved careful analysis. The outcome of this vote will have an impact on all Coloradans. The Citizens’ Initiative Review is designed to give Coloradans a resource for balanced, fair, and understandable information before they vote.”
Proven highly effective and helpful to voters by independent evaluators and adopted into law in Oregon, the CIR is a new and innovative way for Coloradans to evaluate a ballot measure at election time. The Colorado CIR pilot will also study the impact and reach of the state’s neutral State Ballot Information Booklet, or “Blue Book.”
The Citizens’ Initiative Review was championed in Oregon by the nonprofit Healthy Democracy, which is now conducting pilots in two other Western states (Colorado and Arizona).
Moderated by professional facilitators, the Colorado CIR provides 20 citizen panelists with:
No state monies will be used for the pilot project, and all costs are privately funded through charitable foundations and individuals.
To learn more about the Colorado Citizens’ Initiative Review Pilot and read the resulting Citizens’ Statement before voting, visit http://www.circolorado.org and follow the project on Twitter at @ColoradoCIR and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CIRColorado.