Oregon counties ban plantings of GM crops
Published: May 29, 2014
Category: Non-GMO Initiatives
GMO-free initiatives could provide model for other US counties to follow
Voters in both Josephine County and Jackson County, Oregon overwhelmingly approved ballot measures to prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified crops in the counties. The Jackson initiative passed 66-34, while the Josephine initiative passed 58-42.
The victories come despite a wave of opposition funding from the chemical industry, topping out at nearly $1 million in out-of-state spending.
“We fought the most powerful and influential chemical companies in the world and we won,” said Elise Higley, a Jackson County farmer and campaign director of Our Family Farms Coalition, which backed the ban. “The federal government and state government have twiddled their thumbs as Monsanto and the other chemical giants have been allowed to sell a product that spreads onto family farms and can contaminate the seeds we depend on for next year’s crop,” added Higley, who owns a 100-acre farm in Jackson County.
“These victories represent a turning point in the food movement. Just two weeks ago, the Governor of Vermont signed a historic law mandating that GM foods sold in Vermont be labeled. Across the country, members of the food movement are engaging in the political process and demanding their rights as consumers and as citizens,” said Rebecca Spector, who spearheads state labeling initiatives for Center for Food Safety.
“The people of Jackson and Josephine Counties have given the rest of the country a model – and the inspiration – to protect local communities. This is just the beginning,” added Spector.
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