This is a really exciting time to be in Jackson County, where we live. We are the only County within the state of Oregon that has the opportunity to ban growing genetically engineered crops. This is going to be a huge battle that will need to be won grassroots style. Syngenta, a Swiss multi-billion dollar chemical company has been growing genetically engineered sugar beets throughout our County. There have been many cases where their genetically engineered sugar beet seeds have cross pollinated with organic beet and chard seeds and completely contaminated the organic crop. So not only do the organic farmers lose their seed contracts, but their reputation is damaged and they are at risk of being sued for illegally growing Sygenta’s patented seed.
Sygenta has already raised over$250,000 for their campaign, 95% of which came from outside of our County. So you have to wonder, who is really supporting this measure? The actual farmers of Jackson County or multi-national corporations? What’s more, Sygenta can’t even grow genetically engineered crops in their own Country because Switzerland banned them in 2005.
We have joined up with Our Family Farms Coalition to pass Measure 15-119 and ban Genetically Engineered Crops from Jackson County. Please help spread the word and support in any way you can (donate, volunteer, etc). Their website is www.ourfamilyfarmscoalition.org