Washington may be getting a lot of buzz for its GMO labeling bill, but Oregon is also a hotbed of activity in the fight against GMOs. Citizens in Jackson County have completed their signature-gathering drive for a countywide GMO crop ban. The initiative will be on the May 2014 ballot. Citizens in four other counties are hard at work on similar county-level GMO crop bans.

But if Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry have their way, those local bans may be moot. Lawmakers have introduced two bills in the Oregon legislature (SB633 and HB3192) that would take away the rights of Oregon citizens to act at the county level to control their local food economies. SB633 and HB3192 would make the regulation of "seed-related" matters the sole prerogative of the state. Counties would have no say.

The good news is that most of the GMO-related legislation introduced this year is positive. One particularly important bill would restore needed protections for seed and vegetable farmers in the Willamette Valley whose businesses are vulnerable to contamination from genetically engineered canola production.

You can support the fight against GMOs by using our action alert system to send letters to your state legislators or, if you have time, by traveling to Salem on Monday, March 18, to attend a lobby day. Here are the details:

Take Action:
1. Click here to Fight for Your Right to Local Control Over GMOs!
2. Click here to Stop Canola From Ruining a $100 Million Agricultural Sector in the Willamette Valley!


Urgent alert from Oregonians for Farm & Food Rights:

TAKE ACTION: Stop SB633 and HB3192, bills that would take away your community's right to ban GMOs.

SB633 and HB3192 are preemptive laws designed to take away (preempt) communities' rights to make local decisions affecting seeds, seed heritage and GMOs.

SB633 and HB3192 are direct attacks on the county ordinances initiated by concerned farmers and citizens in Benton County and Jackson County,These new laws are meant to stop all GMO-related citizens' initiatives in their tracks.

Laws like these do not come from the people. They come from powerful corporations lobbying to break the knees of the citizen-driven community rights movement.

Please share this alert with everyone you know. People who care about food need to know how biotech corporations are trying to take away our local rights. We need to educate and organize! Will you help?

Yes! I'll contact my legislators now and tell them I oppose SB633 and HB 3192!


Urgent alert from Friends of Family Famers and Hank Keogh of Avoca Seed Farm:

Canola is a big problem for three different agricultural industries in Oregon: specialty vegetable seeds worth $50 million, fresh vegetables worth $30 million, and clover seeds worth $20 million.

TAKE ACTION: Support SB433 and HB2427 to stop canola from ruining a $100-million agriculture industry in the Willamette Valley!

Canola crops directly cross with seed crops, incubate and spread pests and diseases to neighboring fresh vegetable and seed fields. They also contaminate clover seed through physical seed mixing.

Despite concerns that growing canola in the Willamette Valley would ruin a $100-million sector of the region's agriculture industry, on Feb. 7, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) decided to allow canola to be grown in the valley for the first time. The new rule puts vegetable seed and fresh market vegetable growers, who must maintain the utmost seed purity, at risk. Unless the ODA has a plan to control things like wind, bees, birds, rain, bumps in the road, and herbicide-resistant ’superweeds,’ our farms and local food supplies are at risk.

SB433 and HB2427 would reverse ODA's reckless decision to open the floodgates to canola growing in the Willamette Valley. Will you lend your support by writing your legislators today?

Yes! I'll contact my legislators now and tell them to support SB433 and HB2427!


Invitation from Friends of Family Farmers:

RSVP today to come to the State Capitol in Salem on Monday, March 18, to educate your legislators about the importance of local agriculture and the need for policies that support our farmers and ranchers in creating and sustaining the kind of food system we would like to see in Oregon.

Join Friends of Family Farmers and our partner organizations for this fun day at the State Capitol and bring your voice to the small farm and local food issues that are important to all Oregonians – urban and rural, producers and eaters, alike.

Let's demonstrate the strength, vibrancy and contributions of our farm and food community to Oregon's economy! Will you join us?

Yes! I'll be in Salem for Family Farmer & Rancher Day on March 18!