Genetically Engineered (GMO)

Keep GMO Ban, Defend Peoples’ Law

by Gregg Marchese

As has been reported, Jackson County is being sued by two GMO alfalfa farmers over the County’s Ordinance 635, the GMO crop ban passed this May by 66% of the voting citizens. The plaintiffs, Schulz Family Farms in Gold Hill, and James and Marilyn Frink in White City, are seeking damages for costs and losses under the County law, and to ‘permanently enjoin the enforcement of the ordinance’. They claim ‘Plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction maintaining the status quo by prohibiting the County from taking any action to implement or enforce the Ordinance.’

Jackson County is the defendant, but other groups and individuals have the legal right of intervention, if they are especially affected by the outcome of the lawsuit. That’s certainly the case here, and not just farmers. All citizens of Jackson County are affected by the spread of GMO’s and their associated toxic pesticides, and not just people and their children. Livestock, wildlife and the entire ecology can be harmed. Some will be filing for intervention, and this can only benefit the County, since legal costs can be supported by donations rather than the County general fund. Also, a better defense can be brought by people and groups who are more motivated, since they would be seriously harmed should the suit win.

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GMO science? There is none.

by Daniel Gregg 

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” GMOs have been shown to be safe, successful and profitable” is a belief that many people have with little or no scientific studies to back it up.  It is well known that the FDA, in it’s approval process of GE (Genetically Engineered) crops, has relied on studies of the biotech companies themselves where there is an obvious conflict of interest.  As a citizen of Jackson Co., OR and an avid gardener, seed saver and environmentalist of 40 plus years, I am interested in making wise decisions concerning the future of our food and water health and vitality.

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On The Media: Measure 15-119, What’s Next?

FIP-logo-webPaige Imbrogno of Families for Food Freedom shares news about the Food Integrity Project is a voluntary program. It grants recognition-status and verification to restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries in southern Oregon who offer GMO-Free menu options.

Via Archive.org

On The Media: The Science Of GMOs

On episode 27 On The Media we discusses the science behind genetic engineering with Professor Ray Seidler, a local microbiologist.

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Original broadcast 5-2-2014 at RVTV Studios. Archive via Archive.org

Citizen Initiative Review Panel finding supports Measure 15-119

Supermajority of the Non-partisan Citizens Initiative Review Panel Agrees with Family Farms Coalition’s  Primary Claims Regarding Measure 15-119 – Reject’s Opposition’s Primary Scare Tactics

via Family Farms Coalition

downtownrallyAfter three days of study, debate and deliberations with experts regarding Measure 15-119, a panel of 20 representative Jackson County voters organized as a part of the Citizens Initiative Review (CIR), which is sanctioned by the State of Oregon to review ballot measures, released its final findings yesterday. The purpose of the review by the non-partisan group named Healthy Democracy was to help voters understand the facts related to Measure 15-119 prior to the upcoming vote. The “Key Findings” of the group were voted on and approved by a supermajority of the group today and *validated each of the primary arguments and factual claims made by the Our Family Farms Coalition in support of Measure 15-119*.
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Monarchs vanish as Milkweed declines

Monarch ButterflyRoundup threatens millions of winged ambassadors

Monarch butterflies are alive for just a handful of weeks and yet in that short time they fly right into the depths of our imaginations. There’s much about them that we do not know and perhaps this is their greatest lesson– that man can watch and wonder.  As scientists and wildlife preservationists have documented the rapid decline of monarchs, efforts are being made to preserve these sacred creatures the Australians call “the wanderers”.

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Local farmers speak out on commission report

Jackson County OregonFarmers, community members and GMO-free activists filled the Jackson County Commissioners meeting on March 19th to demand the commission retract cost claims made for ballot measure 15-119, a measure restricting the growing of Genetically Engineered crops in the Rogue Valley.

According to a report by County Administrator Danny Jordan, enforcement of the measure could cost the county a minimum of $219,000 per year.  According to Jordan, enforcement of the measure would require a full-time code inspector, time dedicated from a hearings officer, a contractor for testing and other county resources,

GMO free activists counter that argument, saying there is nothing in the ballot measure that would make it mandatory for the county to enforce the law.

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Small family farm fights big agribusiness corporation

by Gregg Marchese

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In mid-February, residents of Singing Bird Family Farm west of Grants Pass discovered an adjacent 35 acre field had been planted with genetically engineered sugar beets. Syngenta is a multi-national chemical corporation overseeing the growing of genetically engineered sugar beets for seed in both Jackson and Josephine Counties. Singing Bird residents Ted Talk and Lynn Colley-Talk have been on their family farm raising bees and selling honey and other bee products for 6 years, and the property has been in the family for 28 years. Ted was born and raised in the area, a resident for 50 years.

The incident started when Ted and Lynn noticed busloads of workers driving through the right-of-way to the neighboring field. This 35 acre field is up against the Applegate River, upstream from the confluence with the Rogue. It is owned by a neighboring family. The land is leased to Syngenta to grow genetically engineered sugar beets for seed, and another operator was hired to do the actual on-the-ground work. The workers were coming in to tend the field.

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GMOs are Immoral and Ill-Advised

No-GMOThe whole system that allows private corporations to genetically modify seeds, to own them as “intellectual property” and have eliminated the requirement that their products be studied by regulatory agencies is SHOCKING, DANGEROUS and IMMORAL.  I believe this overreach of GMO companies is not based on true science since patents were approved by insiders’ agreement based on the idea of “substantial equivalents”, not on testing or independent review.

These actions can be interpreted as “playing God” and deeper study and investigation is essential. In addition to voting Yes on Measure 15-119 in May, I believe citizens might seek a “cease and desist” order, an injunction or a “moratorium” on GMO seeds – no more growing, no new patents, no more products until consumers and those monitoring the legality, morality, health, and environmental repercussions of GMOs, sprays, chemicals and questionable toxic soup involved in their “recipe” are proven safe, prudent and sound..  The precautionary principle applies – DO NO HARM!

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Oregon Legislature passes “Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act”

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Hundreds rally in Medford March for Food Freedom.
Photo credit GMO Free Jackson County

To the dismay of many organic and environmental groups, a controversial agriculture bill that prevents counties in Oregon from regulating genetically modified (GM) crops has been signed into law. Senate Bill 863, the ”Certainty for Family Farmers of Oregon Act”, prohibits local county or city regulation of genetically modified plants and prevents local governments from enacting or enforcing any measures which regulate agricultural, flower, nursery and vegetable seeds or their products.

The bill precludes current efforts in Oregon counties to restrict GM agriculture, but excludes Jackson County, which already has a GM ban up for vote The bill also includes an emergency clause, which allows the bill to go into effect immediately, precluding opponents from referring the bill to voters.

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