Two weeks ago, three Senators in the Oregon legislature allowed a dangerous bill, SB 633, to pass out of the Rural Communities and Economic Development committee by a vote of 3 to 2. If SB 633 - which is being called Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act - passes the legislature, it will permanently strip Oregon’s farmers and citizens of the right to make local agricultural decisions that protect area farmers, local economies and organic seed production and much, much more.
Known as a seed preemption bill, Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act seeks to protect big biotech interests in Oregon. The region of the Rogue Valley in Jackson County, a crown jewel of organic, non-GMO and heritage seed production, is being put at risk of permanent genetic pollution should this bill pass. The stakes couldn’t be higher!
A vote in the Oregon Senate is expected in the next 24 hours and we need your help. SB 633, will strip all local control of agricultural seed and seed production to be replaced with a “one size fits all” policy dictated by the state that will harm Oregon's farmers, your democratic rights and even the sales of Christmas trees.
Already Senator Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay), SB 633's chief sponsor, has even gone so far as to cite the Monsanto Protection Act, Section 735 of HR 933 as a justification for this latest corporate handout for the biotech chemical and seed companies.
Tomorrow’s vote on the Senate Floor is expected to be extremely close and we need your help to stop SB 633.
SB 633 Strips Local Citizen’s Rights, Harms Oregon’s Farmers and Much More
If allowed to pass, SB 633 would preempt local (county and city) laws and ordinances, setting severe limits on “the display, distribution, growing, harvesting, labeling, marketing, mixing, notification of use, planting, possession, processing, registration, storage, transportation or use” seeds and GMO crops.
At the same time, SB 633 is so poorly written that it potentially conflicts with many already existing local ordinances, including those that allow Christmas tree sales and planting or the height of lawns and possibly banning the sharing of fruit from trees.”
If you have time, please take 30 seconds today to call your Oregon Senator today to make sure that your Senator votes against SB 633.
We know some people don’t like to make calls, but they have a big impact. It’s your choice, you can make a call today or allow Monsanto’s GMOs to contaminate our farmers’ fields and corrupt our democracy.
Under current Oregon law, local citizens have the right to impose a ban on growing genetically engineered crops within the confines of their county to protect local family farmers and economic interests through a ballot initiative. And this is exactly what GMO Free Jackson County is working on, by placing a potential ban of GMO crops on the ballot next year.
Unfortunately, several Senators are working with Monsanto and biotech lobbyists to undermine your basic democratic rights. As Food Democracy Now! reported early, SB 633 was voted out of the Rural Communities and Economic Development by a vote of 3 to 2. The 3 Oregon Senators that voted in favor of SB 634 are Senator Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay), Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) and Betsy Close (R-Albany). Rather than stand up for Oregon’s farmers, these three Senators chose to hand the biotech industry another corporate handout.
While some said that the Monsanto Protection Act would only last 6 months, it’s now being used as justification for passing Section SB 633 into law. This is an outrage!
According to an email to a constituent from Roblan's legislative policy advisor Rosie Shatkin:
"With this background information in mind, and given that the DA promulgated rules through the APHIS, does the CFCAA, 2013, H.B. 933 § 735, impact a State’s ability to regulate GMOs? In essence, one reviewer of the act noted that "Even if the courts find that a (genetically engineered) crop shouldn’t be planted until more research is done about its safety, no one could stop that crop from being planted, even temporarily" because Federal Law supersedes state law and most definitely, local Ordinance."
While Section 735, the federal Monsanto Protection Act may only last 6 months. SB 633 could be used forever to undermine local agriculture!
Tomorrow morning, a vote is scheduled on SB 633. We must act today!
Remember, democracy is like a muscle... either use it or lose it!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team