4/12/2017 | On April 12th, we joined friends and local Oregon farmers at the Capital for a hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 1037.
SB 1037 would restore counties' rights to protect local farmers' crops from harmful effects of GE crops. These rights were stripped in the 2013 special session with the passage of SB 863 (replacing SB 633) which created statewide preemption, prohibiting Oregon county and city governments from passing measures regulating the use of seed.
Passage of SB 1037 would provide a legislative fix for Josephine County and protect their GE crop ban passed in 2014 (Measure 17-58). Jackson County also passed a GE crop ban (Measure 15-119), but was not effected by the statewide preemption.
If this bill passes, Josephine County can join Jackson County in protecting their farmers and seeds from GE contamination, and would make Josephine County the 9th GE FREE ZONE in the United States.
Stay tuned for more updates, news, and insights from us and our friends. We also want to send a huge thank you to everyone that showed up at the hearing, submitted testimony, and shared our actions! Every little part you do makes a huge difference! Our Family Farms, Center for Food Safety, Friends of Family Farmers, Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families.
Photo courtesy of Mary Middleton
4/13/2017 | HB 2739 is scheduled for a Work Session on April 18th. HB 2739 will:
- Hold patent holders responsible for GE contamination events
- Protect high-value crops in Oregon, such as specialty seed, wheat and alfalfa, which have been put at significant risk by GE contamination.
- Protect communities from the unwanted presence of invasive GE weeds, such as Creeping Bentgrass, now de-regulated and spreading in Malheur and Jefferson counties.
4/14/2017 | Update from Mary Middleton, Director of Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families: "Sad news to report, but we have not given up yet. Hope to see you all at our upcoming fundraiser event. Message me if you have questions, but here is the online link: Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families and GMOFreeJoCo at our Plaisance Ranch fundraiser May 7. http://m.bpt.me/event/2913946
SB1037 killed in a political standoff on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
The tactics of these well funded lobbyists and biotech front groups are cowardly and mostly done behind closed doors. The push back was intimidating enough to the Senate Committee, so once again big Ag won the day. Meanwhile the will of the people of Josephine County was ignored and local farmers are left with their protection literally blowing in the wind.
We will continue to pursue all possibilities to restore the rights of Oregon's farmers to protect their traditional crops.
Thanks to all who have reached out to your legislators to show support for these bills and a special thanks to all who showed up for the hearing on Wednesday in Salem. We outnumbered the opposition and had some amazing testimony.
It's going to take all of us to make this happen. Stay tuned to learn about ways you can help.