Exclusive SilverDoctors.com Alert By Eric Dubin
Last month we wrote how Monsanto had an unknown US Congress representative attempt to hide legislation designed to crush consumer interests.  The legislation was hidden within a Continuing Resolution Spending Bill and signed by President Obama with virtually no mainstream media discussion.
The GMO industry is at it again, and very few people outside of Oregon realize GMO interests are working to — in effect — kill organic farming in Oregon.  Oregon Senate Bill 633 is scheduled for a committee vote in the Oregon Senate Thursday, April 11.  It will then move to the Senate floor and might become law very soon.   What happens in Oregon will serve as a model for other states.  

To learn more, GMO Free Oregon operates a petition page that outlines the argument and let’s visitors sign-on to a petition.  Contact information for calling and writing the State capital, as well as contact information for local representatives for Oregon residents can be found by clicking here.  Calls and personal letters will have more impact over online petitions.

SB 633 is designed to shut down the voices of Oregon residents working to have their county representatives protect organic farming at the county level.  In Southern Oregon, Jackson County residents will vote on a county-wide GMO ban in 2014.  Fearful other counties would enact similar bans, corporate agricultural interests and the GMO industry have united in support of SB 633.

On the surface, SB 633 seems reasonable enough.  It calls for any GMO ban on Oregon soil to only be enacted at the state level, with an exception written for Jackson County since their initiative petition for the 2014 election had already been approved.  GMO interests seek to shut-down the political representative process exactly where average people happen to have the most power — at the county level.

Supporters argue that a patch quilt of different regulations across multiple counties would prove burdensome to industry and some farmers.  Certainly, the challenge of compliance would become more complicated.  But supporters claims are greatly exaggerated.  The agriculture and food production and packaging industries operate with relative ease when                                                                             navigating county-specific bans in states like California.  Product differentiation is just a normal part of any industry intent on serving a wide variety of consumer interests.

Small and mid-sized organic farmers don’t enjoy similar flexibility.  Wind and insects disperse GMO-tainted pollen far and wide.  Any cross-pollination with organic crops would, by definition, strip the farmer’s ability to market his or her produce as organic.  Organic certification and labeling requires produce to be non-GMO.  In addition, the very food consumers seek to avoid when buying organic produce would, over time, take on the characteristics of GMO varieties.

Interest in small and mid-sized organic farming is skyrocketing across the United States — along with consumers seeking out farmers markets and other shopping alternatives.  Oregon is among the states at the heart of this movement and Oregon’s produce finds its way to dinner tables across America.  Food industry companies like Amy’s Kitchen have moved to the state because Oregon has large enough local organic production to support operations like Amy’s Kitchen.

Debate about GMOs is on the rise.  Having control over what we put in our bodies is the last thing Monsanto has in mind.  Get involved.


10ozntr ban

  1. @headude:  In the third paragraph there are two links.  On most browsers the text will switch from the “regular” color you see to blue text.  It’s click-able text, just as “headude” is click-able text that leads to your profile page.

    I live in Oregon.  This stuff has come down pretty fast and as of yet, there really isn’t a single statewide-focused website that offers a good big picture view of what’s going on and how people outside of Oregon can get involved.  I’m talking with activists right now about this and I’ll post an update when and if I get better info.  But anyone outside of Oregon can certainly contact state senators in Oregon, and the links above will let you find those representatives.  

    There are less than 4 million people in Oregon.  State senators would certainly take notice of an influx of concern coming in from the rest of the country because Oregon exports about $3 billion worth of food products each year.  Much of that isn’t organic, per se.  But organic production is growing faster than the rest of the sector.  The example of Amy’s Kitchen makes for a good example to include in communication to Oregon representatives by people outside the state.

    I’ll post more later.


    Eric Dubin

  2. Thanks wombat/Eric.  Guess I had one too many beers for dinner and didn’t knowtice.  Hey, it’s crap gettin’ old, ya know!  Me too…livin the life in Bend. OR is da place. I’ll get this message out to my homies. No, seriously, GMO shit is sooooooo fucked up and we all need to be on this page, really now. Thanks for giving it more exposure. Keep stackin, rackin and trackin your representatives.

  3. @Rabe: Thanks for mentioning The Institute For Responsible Technology.  They’re a fantastic organization where people can learn more about GMOs in general and keep up with what’s going on.  Yet this actually proves my point about people outside of Oregon that already have an interest in the subject not knowing what’s going on in Oregon.  There’s nothing about the proposed ban of Oregon county-level GMO restrictions to be found on their website.  I looked for it using multiple google “advanced search” queries like this one:  click here.  I’m amazed that this story hasn’t gone national yet.  Hopefully my post will go viral in the blogosphere.  I’ve also talked to a few journalist I know that might pick it up.

    Petition sites are helpful.  But I wouldn’t go as far as to say they’re the “best” way to get the word out.  Frankly, if an issue is of interest to enough people in general a specific news event about that subject has a natural ability to go viral via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and high profile websites that focus on that specific subject and act as relay stations to the community of people following that subject.  Petition sites usually see well over half of their traffic coming from the other sites I mentioned because that’s where more people tend to find out about the given news event or specific issue first.

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