Oregon county forbids farmers from growing GMO crops

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Anti-GMO logo Voters in Jackson County, Oregon last week passed a ballot initiative mandating what crops farmers can or cannot grow on their land. The initiative, which passed by nearly a two-to-one margin, bans county farmers from growing any genetically engineered plants.

Quoted in an article from American Seed Trade Association, Oregon Farm Bureau president Barry Bushue, says, "Regrettably ideology defeated sound science and common sense in Jackson County."

Oregon’s state legislature passed a pre-emption law last session, intended to prevent counties from enacting individual bans, but Jackson County was exempted in the bill because the ballot initiative was already underway when the law went into effect. Another Oregon county passed a similar initiative that the state likely will challenge under the pre-emption law, and three other counties are planning similar voter initiatives.

The issue remains contentious in Oregon and elsewhere, and even among the “organic,” non-GMO community, some see the legislation as a bad idea. In a commentary posted in Agri Marketing, Mischa Popoff, a former organic farmer and USDA-contract organic inspector, stresses that organic growers should be able to market their products on their own merit, rather than using legislation to stifle the competition. Let consumers decide.

“For years we argued that the farming community should respect our right to be organic,” he says. “(But with this vote) we've gone yet one more step down the road to denying our neighbors their rights.”

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Mischa Popoff    
May, 28, 2014 at 08:28 AM

Great article, except that Mischa Popoff is a "he," not a "she."

Salem  |  May, 29, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Who is Mischa Popoff? The Executive Director of IOIA, Margaret Scoles, says that she often gets calls and messages from people who are confused by Popoff’s claimed credentials. “A recent message I received was signed, ‘Mischa Popoff, IOIA Advanced Organic Farm and Process Inspector’,” says Scoles. ”I was surprised,” she adds. “In 2008, I asked him to discontinue using the term because there is no such thing [Advanced Inspector]. He just made up the title. We asked him not to use the IOIA name in any way to imply membership status with our association, but his continued use of our name on his website and in his emails still causes confusion.” “We take our responsibility to follow up on any questionable activities in organics very seriously,” said OCIA President Peggy Linzmeier. “Mr. Popoff’s fictitious stories, challenging the credibility of the organic label, are injurious to all the farmers and organizations in this industry that are acting with high integrity.” http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/06/who-is-mischa-popoff/

May, 28, 2014 at 09:40 AM

Our society gets stranger and stranger. Activists pucker and clench to force alll of us to idolize same sex marriages, encouraging sodomists to get all up in our, uh, faces but then the activists turn around and put the twisting hammerlock on innocent farmers, making them stand down and get their DNA strictly under control. Misha Popoff rightly points out this legislation works to destroy perfectly good agricultural practice simply because organic and other hippy dippy produce cannot stand on its own merit. Just stranger and stranger and stranger

IL  |  May, 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Our population is rapidly heading toward a police state. It is sad that today's activists who demand all these new rules, laws, and regulations do not study world history.

Kansas  |  May, 28, 2014 at 11:59 AM

When tyrants are elected to office, tyranny will rule. Most Americans still live under the illusion of "freedom". Here you go...

Yuma, Colorado  |  May, 28, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Farmers are a minority that feeds the world. Now they will loose control of their land. Non farmers and others will decide for the farmer what is best for him or her to grow. All the while our Government sits and lets the lies about GMO's stand as fact. It is indeed a sad day when the many tell the few who own the land and have the know how what is best. Tyranny at its' best. Do not think this will stop with one county. First the envoronmental police came, then the food police, then the health police and now the plant police. All that is left is the animal police to come at us.

John Stenger    
West Virginia  |  May, 28, 2014 at 02:32 PM

We already do live in a police state, where the rights of the common man and the average voter are regularly trampled in favor of the elite special interests. Fear not this temporary GMO ban, the big money interests will have it overturned. Too much profit involved to let the will of the voters prevail. We have the best government money can buy and we will get more of it. Liberty and Justice is for all who can afford it. The tazer, the NSA spying, the thought police and the swat teams will keep the dissidents and rabble subdued so the aristocrats who have earned it can enjoy their freedom.

tx  |  May, 28, 2014 at 08:47 PM

Who would enforce this? There are no studies showing any danger to anyone from GMO'S so there is no crime so there can be no enforcement. This is amazing that states are subverting federal law with marijuana growing and passing laws against things that cause no harm. Idiots.

May, 30, 2014 at 04:55 PM

There are plenty of studies that show GMOs are harmful. One of OUR scientists was muzzled but when he permitted his research to be show to parliament Europe banned GMOs. Not only that but the cross pollinization by GM crops are a threat....see how Mexico's maize varieties are dwindling since GM corn was introduced. Is it any coincidence that China just rejected our corn...they are hardly hippy dippy. The jury is still out on GM crops and farmers in India are still committing suicide for falling for the GM sales pitch

May, 30, 2014 at 05:15 PM

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/04/08/10-scientific-studies-proving-gmos- can-be-harmful-to-human-health/ Read it and weep Plant DNA in humans from consuming GMOs Maternal and Fetal blood infected There are 26 countries that I know of that ban them so what do they know that we don't know? Just saying

May, 30, 2014 at 05:17 PM

When tyrant corporations run our govt. then what do we have? I read that Dubya was going to threaten Europe with sanctions when they banned GMOs.....doesn't that seem a little WEIRD to you?

Craig A. Moore    
Billings, MT  |  June, 02, 2014 at 08:38 AM

You can have thousands of studies showing that GMO is not harmful and a few dozen say it is and you will cherry pick the ones you want. And China takes a lot of our corn, but if it is GMO it has to be tested before it will be accepted by them. Only new strains not tested and accepted yet is rejected. Maybe you should read all the facts just a tich better. And on your other post, maybe you should do a little research to find out how many sanctions all the countries concerned actually have on each other. So many countries world wide run to the WTO looking for sanctions on US.

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