Josephine County voted on a genetically modified food ban that was to go into effect on September 4th, but of course rejecting GMOs can never happen without a fight. One day before the ban went live, GM sugar beet farmers, with the backing of agrichemical corporations, sued in order to halt the ban. This is a similar tactic that was used in Maui County and Kauai County, who passed similar bans via a democratic process. When will the courts uphold justice?
The lawsuit bans county officials from enforcing the GM crop ban ordinance, and cannot be upheld until the lawsuit makes it through court. The plaintiffs of the lawsuit maintain that the county ban is superceded by a state law which allows the GM sugar beet farmers to plant their crops.
John DiLorenzo, the sugar beet farmers’ attorney stated:
“The Josephine County ballot measure is exactly the kind of patchwork policy the legislature intended to prohibit when it enacted SB 863. Lawmakers established that such laws should be made at the state level to avoid the chaos and confusion created when farmers face conflicting restrictions on agricultural practices imposed by local governments that lack expertise in farm practice regulation.”
That may be true, but the local governments were enacting a bill that was overwhelmingly supported by Oregonians that don’t want to eat GM food.