In a decision that poses an immediate threat to Oregon’s seed growers and organic vegetable producers, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has fast-tracked the approval of canola production in Willamette Valley.
On Friday, August 10, the ODA ‘ in response to the biofuel industry – intends to file for a temporary rule to allow the growing of canola, including genetically engineered canola, in a previously designated protection zone surrounding Willamette Valley. This decision was made after a series of meetings held behind closed doors to allow GM canola to be grown in the valley unchecked and with disregard to existing seed pinning map isolation guidelines.
Tell ODA to HALT the temporary rulemaking process!
Why is this important? Willamette Valley is the perfect environment for growing the specialty seed, brassicas, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, rutabaga, turnip, radish, kale, cabbage, etc. Canola is also a brassica but spreads rampantly and cross pollinates with a lot of other brassicas, causing contamination and destruction of other seed crops. Oregon State University has conducted research proving that canola will cross pollinate with many different crops including turnips, broccoli raab, some kales, rutabaga, and possibly radish and broccoli.
Willamette Valley is one of the top 5 places in the world for growing and supplying specialty seed and maintaining seed diversity. The Valley’s seed growers supply seed to companies around the world, especially those that grow non-GMO food.
Whether or not you live in Oregon, please contact the ODA and Governor Kitzhaber yourself and make your voice heard! This decision will have an impact far beyond this one state. And help us spread the word!
Remember, we only have until this Friday, August 10th to change this decision!