Two alfalfa farms in Jackson County, Oregon have agreed to a deal stating they will not appeal the voter ban on GMOs. In exchange, they have been given liberal time to remove the current GMO crops already planted. Clearly, the agreement to not appeal means no more GMO crops can be planted in the area. While this isn’t the perfect deal, it is still a win for the people of Oregon. Farms will now be given 8 years to fully switch to non-GMO alfalfa. So each year, GMO plants should drop significantly until ultimately being completely gone in 8 years.
Jackson County commissioners said a federal court magistrate must approve this deal before it is confirmed, but they don’t expect any issues. According to KansasCity.com.
Bruce Schulz of Gold Hill and James and Marilyn Frink of Sams Valley filed suit a year ago, saying the GMO ban violated their “right to farm” under state law and the loss of crops would cause financial hardship.ADVERTISEMENT
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke in May dismissed the farmers’ arguments, but their claim seeking $4.2 million in compensation from Jackson County had remained in play.
The attorney for the growers, Shannon Armstrong, said in a statement the deal “provides welcome relief” because the farmers can grow valuable crops planted before the law was passed.
The state Legislature approved a bill two years ago that prohibits local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops. An exception was made for Jackson County because its measure had already qualified for the May 2014 ballot.
This bill will protect farmers growing traditional crops from contaminated GMO versions. This is a win for the people of Oregon. It shows that there are places right here in the United States which are heading in the right direction. This really shows that Oregon (at least this particular county) is willing to save it’s agriculture from poisons, it also sends a solid message to those who buy produce that GMO versions are not healthy. Once GMO is embedded in farm regions, it tends to infect other, non-GMO farm regions.
Monsanto has had a strangle hold over the United States government for years, using its vast fortune to encourage non-labeling legislation on food products in our grocery stores. Any time we can pass bills that protect people from the future effects of GMOs, that’s a win for us. It is important to be vigilant when it comes to GMOs in your local areas, because that’s where you can make the largest difference.