GMO Free movement makes headway

An initiative to ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GMO) crops in Jackson County will be on the May 2014 ballot as Measure 15-119. Organizers of GMO-Free Jackson County submitted over 6,500 petition signatures from residents who support the measure.

The GMO-Free Jackson County campaign was started by Rogue Valley farmers who are concerned that their crops are being contaminated by GMOs. Genetically modified crops cross-pollinate with locally grown organic crops. Advocates of the initiative say it is necessary to protect organic farmers, backyard gardens, and local food choices.

In an online poll by the Mail Tribune, 73% of respondents believe that GMO crops should be banned in Jackson County.

GMO-Free Jackson County meets every Monday from 9:00AM to 11:00AM in the Gresham Room of the Ashland library. For more information, visit gmofreejacksoncounty.org.

Concerned citizens are also working to organize GMO-Free Josephine County to preserve the integrity of local food sources. “We are a proactive group working closely with GMO-Free Jackson County to educate our community about the necessity of protecting our unique bio region from GMO crops and the health & environmental dangers they pose,” says the organization’s Facebook page.

GMO-Free Josephine County is looking for consultants and legal professionals to help them craft a similar measure. For more information, email gmofreejosephinecounty@gmail.com.