Tuesday, July 18, 2000
Produced by Coors Corporate Communications
(303) 277-2555 (303) 277-6246 (FAX)


Ballot initiatives are becoming more popular across the country. During this election year, Coors has interest in four initiatives--three in Colorado one in California--that could impact the company. Below are brief descriptions of the proposals and Coors' position on each. More information about how each initiative might affect Coors will be provided as the November election nears.

Coors opposes three Colorado ballot initiatives. One of the initiatives has been placed on the ballot. The other two need to 62,000 valid signatures from registered Colorado voters by August 7 to make it onto the November ballot.

•Initiative 205, which is on the ballot, calls for on-going cuts in utility, vehicle, income and property taxes without consideration of the impacts. Although Coors generally favors tax restrictions, the company recognizes that government provides many important services such as schools, roads, law enforcement and parks that need adequate funding. there are many undefined aspects of this proposal that could lead to severe and harmful cutbacks in vital government services.

•A measure now collecting signatures would require special labeling of grocery food products that are made using genetically modified ingredients, even though scientific evidence shows these ingredients are as safe as non-modified ingredients. This requirement would apply to all products sold in Colorado as well as those produced in Colorado even if they are sold outside the state. Food ingredients and labeling are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has established national rules covering genetically modified foods. Food safety is a national issue, and Coors believes the FDA is the proper place to establish regulations. This law could set a precedent for each state to add its own labeling requirements that would be very burdensome and expensive for food manufacturers. The Grocery Manufacturers of America, of which Coors is a member, is leading efforts to defeat the initiative.

•An anti-growth proposal would require cities and counties with more than 10,000 residents to develop growth-area maps that would be subject to popular vote. Since elections to update the maps would be permitted only once every two years, companies that need to build new facilities quickly to respond to changing business conditions could be forced to delay plans until the next election and to spend time and money educating voters, who know nothing about the business. This ballot issue is overly restrictive and inconsistent concerning new development and property rights.

In California Coors supports an initiative that would keep state and local government from imposing certain fees on products and services unless they are approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislature or, at the local level, by a vote of the people. The state Supreme Court created a legal loophole in 1997 that gave state and local governments authority to levy higher taxes without a popular vote on products that fall under a very loose definition that they could produce "social or economic harm" to consumers. Industries that could be affected range from alcohol, tobacco, guns and automobiles, to fast foods and pharmaceuticals.

On Monday, July 17, Coors stock closed up 25/32 at 64-1/32.

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