Protecting Jackson County Family Farmers
And, congratulations to Josephine County for its incredible 58% to 41% victory against genetically engineered crops!
With this inspiring vote by people of every political perspective, our communities have sent a message to the country and the world, that we will no longer accept the threats of contamination that genetically engineered crops pose to family farmers. Thank you to our volunteers, supporters, and the voters for standing up to the out-of-state political bull and doing what's right for family farmers.
We expect that Monsanto and its representatives with the Oregon Farm Bureau will likely try to challenge this precedent-setting win, so please make a contribution today help defend this important precedent. We are working to raise at least $25,000 in the next 30 days and could use your help to do it.
Why are family farmers so concerned about genetically engineered crops? One gust of wind, and pollen from a genetically engineered crop can spread for miles, making seed from the traditional crops it touches illegal to save for next year's planting and illegal to sell under U.S. patent law.
Any seed produced from genetically engineered pollen becomes the legally patented property of Monsanto, Syngenta and the other corporate chemical giants that attempted to defeat Measure 15-119. This undermines the ability of family farmers to collect and use their seeds from one year to the next, which is critical to the economic viability of many family farms. Contrary to some media reports, there is nothing that limits these impacts to organic farmers.
Genetically engineered crops have already cost U.S. farmers billions of dollars in documented losses. The examples range from the wheat export ban in Oregon and Washington last year caused by Monsanto's genetically engineered wheat, to China's ongoing rejection of U.S. corn shipments due to contamination by Syngenta's genetically engineered corn. The impacts from Syngenta's corn contamination alone has cost U.S. conventional corn farmers more than $2.9 billion in losses and could rise to over $6 billion by next year.
Most of our federal and state leaders from both parties have been content to let family farmers bear the brunt of contamination from genetically engineered crops. Oregon's Gov. Kitzhaber shamefully supported Oregon's Monsanto Protection Act, which took away the rights of other counties to protect their farmers from genetically engineered crops.
We support the immediate repeal of this unjust exercise in state control. Until our political leaders stop catering to the high-priced influence of the chemical corporations like Monsanto, we encourage counties around the United States to adopt local measures to protect family farmers from genetically engineered crops.
Thank you to the western counties that came before us, such as Marin County, Mendocino County, Santa Cruz County, and San Juan County and the growing number of places around the country and world, from Hawaii and Mexico to Ecuador and Zambia that are fighting the injustice of genetically engineered crops. Today we celebrate our local victories in hopes that they become part of a larger global victory for family farmers everywhere.
To see some of the images of the campaign feel free to visit us on Vimeo.
Thank you again for your support!
Our Family Farms Coalition Asks You to Vote YES on 15-119
Protect Family Farmers and Our Economy
THE FAMILY FARMS MEASURE 15-119 PROTECTS FAMILY FARMERS from the serious risk that their crops will be contaminated by genetically engineered crops that are patented and controlled by large out-of-state chemical corporations. There’s no practical way to stop genetically engineered pollen and seed from trespassing onto traditional farms that have been here for years. And when a traditional crop becomes contaminated with genetically engineered pollen, it can be impossible for the farmer to sell.
PROTECTS OUR DRINKING WATER AND KIDS Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011.1 These chemicals can end up in our water and our children's bodies. This increased pesticide use has also led to the evolution of high-impact Superweeds2. The measure will help prevent Superweeds from becoming a major problem in the Rogue Valley.
PROTECTS FAMILY FARMERS FROM PATENT LAWSUITS by Monsanto and the other chemical corporations. These corporations have threatened many innocent farmers with patent infringement lawsuits after their patented pollen or seed has trespassed onto family farmers' property.
Don't Buy the Political Bull!
Almost every Jackson County voter can say they are concerned about the County budget and public services. So it’s no surprise that exploiting this concern in an attempt to scare voters seems like a good campaign plan to the out-of-county corporations and other interests that have funded 95% of the opposition to Measure 15-119.
There are no facts to support the cost claims about 15-119.
The opposition to 15-119 has inflated and misrepresented an already fatally-flawed cost report by County Administrator Danny Jordan. In fact, Jordan stated in a recent County Commissioners’ meeting:
"I said at least six times in the presentation that this could cost zero dollars."
- RVTV 14, 3/19/14 County Commissioners’ meeting
Why Did Farmers Call for a Retraction of the Report?
IT IGNORES THE LACK OF COSTS IN AREAS WITH SIMILAR LAWS. In the three counties with very similar laws, they have spent virtually nothing on enforcement. For example, Santa Cruz County has an agricultural economy of over $500 million a year, seven times the size of ours. Yet Ag Commissioner Mary Lou Nicoletti says the county has virtually no enforcement costs.
IT IGNORES THE FACT THAT VIOLATIONS ARE UNLIKELY. As shown by the lack of costs in other counties, this is a law that tends to enforce itself. Growing genetically engineered crops requires major legal contracts that people just wouldn’t sign for a practice that wasn’t legal.
IT WRONGLY ASSUMES COUNTY ENFORCEMENT IS MANDATED. The Family Farms Measure gives the County "the authority” to enforce the Measure, but it doesn't mandate the County to spend a single dime. Any spending is completely up to the discretion of the County Commissioners.
Don’t buy the political spin. Protect our farmers, our economy, and our community from genetically engineered crops. Please Vote YES on Measure 15-119.
1. "Pesticide Use Ramping Up As GMO Crop Technology Backfires: Study" Reuters, Oct. 1, 2012
2. "New GM Crops Could Make Superweeds Even Stronger" Wired, May 1, 2012