“Citizens not only reject unregulated and hazardous GMOs, but are willing to defy the indentured politicians who pass laws that take away county rights to ban GMOs and obliterate a 100-year tradition of home rule and balance of powers between counties and the state.” So said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and the Organic Consumers Fund.
Jackson County Oregon is a hotspot for supplying seed to the rest of the world. But with Syngenta growing GMO sugar beet crops in small plots peppered all over the narrow valley, contamination was inevitable according to Elise Higley, Jackson County family farmer and director of OurFamilyFarmsCoalition.org.
The GMO ban enacted by Josephine County Oregon is expected to face a legal challenge by way of S.B. 863, a controversial law passed by the Oregon legislature last October. The state law strips counties of the right to pass GMO bans. The Jackson County ban enjoys more protection, since that initiative was introduced before the state law went into effect.
It is important for farmers to grow crops, let them go to seed, and then save that seed to grow the next year. This allows farmers to grow varieties that work well for a particular region. But using purchased seed to sell or plant next year’s crops is illegal with patented GMO seeds, and a farmer could be sued out of existence even if GMO seed accidentally winds up in a neighboring farmer’s field, contaminating the crop.
The decisive county GMO ban victories come just months before the entire state of Oregon will vote on Ballot Initiative #44, which, if passed in November, would require mandatory labeling of GMO foods and foods containing GMO ingredients. “These victories make it clear to agribusiness giants like Monsanto and Dow that the day has come when they can no longer buy and lie their way to victory,” Cummins says. “By using the tools of democracy, such as ballot initiatives, citizens can overcome corporate and government corruption through honest campaigns, built on a foundation of truth, science and fair play.”
Consider the First Source!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word choreographed an assembly of amino acids into an exquisite array of specific proteins. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” In so doing God demonstrated a penchant for genomic writing, preceeded by an amazing series of prebiotic events, in a highly orchestrated presentation of evolutionary overcontrol.