Monsanto has been warned, and Syngenta already moved their operations outside the county. Notice was given by Josephine County, Oregon that citizens are very serious about the GMO ban (Measure 17-58) that was passed last year. The cultivation of GMO crops will not be tolerated.
Biotech companies have until September 4th, just a few short weeks away, to either harvest their crops or destroy them, or they face monetary penalties.
The very first line of the ordinance to ban GMOs in Josephine County states its purpose:
“[to] maintain and protect seed sovereignty and local control, free from outside corporate interests and unnecessary and overreaching preemption by the state and federal governments, of this County’s agriculture, environment, public health, economy and private property rights as they pertain to genetic contamination from genetically engineered plants;”
The notice states, in short, that farmers will be penalized if they continue to grow GMO crops past September 4th. The notice will be published by the county in an effort to remind farmers about the voter-passed GMO ban (as if they could possibly be ignorant of this after all the controversy surrounding it). County Counsel Wally Hicks says the county is still fine-tuning the notice before it is to be posted in the Daily Courier.
Farmers are advised via the notice to contact the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office with their names, crop location, and crop type, as well as a plan to phase out prior to the September 4th deadline. Citizens of Josephine County have not detailed what they will do to crops that are not either harvested or demolished by this time.