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Initiative Would Ban GMO Crops in Jackson County

OPB | May 8, 2014 12:35 p.m. | Updated: May 9, 2014 8:46 a.m.

Genetically modified rice plants.

Genetically modified rice plants.

BASF-Company

Farmers in Jackson County are on both sides of the debate about whether genetically engineered crops should be allowed. Our Family Farms Coalition supports the ban proposed in Ballot Measure 15-119 (pdf), because they think agricultural practices involving GMOs might negatively affect human health. The group also argues local farmers would face economic woes if their crops were contaminated by neighbors’ GMO crops.

Opposition to the ban is largely from the group Protect Oregon Farmers. They argue the ban would be costly to enforce, and would amount to severe government overreach and intrusion into local agricultural practices. The group has the backing of biotech companies like Syngenta and Monsanto, and has raised more than five times as much as supporters of the bill.

Do you live in Jackson County? What questions do you have about this initiative?

GUESTS:

  • Elise Higley: Director of Our Family Farms Coalition
  • Martina Newell-McGloughlin: Director of the Biotechnology Research and Education Program at University of California Davis

Editor’s Note: This post has been changed to more accurately reflect the position of Our Family Farms Coalition.

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