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Josephine GMO ban ruling, Legislative update

September 27, 2017

Natural Resource Report,

Oregonians for Food and Shelter,

September 25, 2017-

Thursday brought a great victory for Oregon agriculture as the Oregon Court of Appeals confirmed the lower court opinion on the Josephine County GMO ban initiative. The GMO ban, passed in May of 2014, was beginning to be implemented by the County in June of 2015 when Josephine County farmers, Bob and Shelly White, filed a lawsuit claiming that the measure violated the state “seed preemption” law. Their challenge to the law was decided on in May of this year, with the Circuit Court Judge ruling that the GMO ban was clearly preempted.

In his written opinion, Judge Wolke said that, “[I]n this case, the conflict could not be more clear that the County’s GMO ordinance, and ORS 633.738 are incompatible.” The Oregon Court of Appeals confirmed that lower court ruling “without opinion.” which means that they agreed with Judge Wolke and had nothing further to add. This is a resounding victory that strengthens Oregon’s seed preemption law. Also last week, the legislature hosted their September “Legislative Days.”

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