Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Genetically Engineered Canola Comes to Oregon August 15th

GMO Canola is coming to the Willamette valley on August 15 unless we stop it.

Canola is in the brassica family and readily crosses with turnips, broccoli raab, some kales, rutabaga, and possibly radish and broccoli. All of these seed crops and more have been grown by specialty seed farmers here in the valley for over 30 years. GMO canola would become a roadside weed, protected from the county's roadside maintenance by its "Roundup Ready" glyphosate herbicide resistance. It would contaminate professional seed growers and garden seed savers alike. 

Canola would contaminate Oregon's vegetable and flower seed production industry that is worth $32 million to $50 million annually.

In the past, specialty seed growers have maintained a pinning map that organizes and isolates seed farms to minimize contamination between crops and varieties. GMO canola growers would ignore these pinning rules. Trucks hauling seed for transport the processing plant would spill seed on highway margins.

OSU scientists agree that contamination of seed crops is inevitable. Once a GMO species is introduced to an area, its proliferation is rampant. So, between GMO canola and the specialty vegetable seed industry, there can be no coexistence.

Normally for these types of major agricultural changes, there is a 30-day public comment period. However, with pressure from the corporate lobby Sequential fuels, the Oregon Department of Agriculture is expediting the process. So, if you wish to be heard, contact ODA director Katy Coba to voice your opinion.

August 15 is the planting date for GMO canola.


Learn more about this story here.

Sequential fuels website

What can you do?
 Write to the Oregon Dept of Agriculture and Sequential Fuels!

1. Tell Sequential Fuels you do not want GE canola in Oregon and will discontinue buying their fuel if GE canola comes into our state. (They are the ones who lobbied to get it here.)
http://www.sqbiofuels.com/contact
Salem Office 503.585.1673

Sequential Retail/ Eugene Station
86714 McVay Hwy
Eugene, Oregon 97405
Phone: 541.736.5864

2. Please write to the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture who made the decision to bring GE Canola into the state:  Katy Coba at kcoba@oda.state.or.us and tell her you do not want GE Canola in Oregon. You can also call her at 503-986-4552


Here is a sample letter that I sent to her. 

Hello Katy Coba,

I am commenting during your 30 day public comment period on the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) canola into Oregon. Please note this is a formal and legal comment.

I am a farmer and native Oregonian. Just like you, I come from Eastern Oregon. I am concerned about your decision to introduce genetically engineered canola into Oregon. In my opinion it is not being thought out carefully and your actions are too hasty.

Canola is in the brassica family and readily crosses with turnips, broccoli raab, some kales, rutabaga, and possibly radish and broccoli. All of these seed crops and more have been grown by specialty seed farmers here in the valley for over 30 years. GE canola would become a roadside weed. It would contaminate professional seed growers and garden seed savers alike. This mistake could become a financial problem for many farmers/gardeners who will blame you and your office ultimately.

In the past, specialty seed growers have maintained a pinning map that organizes and isolates seed farms to minimize contamination between crops and varieties. GMO canola growers would ignore these pinning rules. Trucks hauling seed for transport the processing plant would spill seed on highway margins.

OSU scientists agree that contamination of seed crops is inevitable. Once a GMO species is introduced to an area, its proliferation is rampant.

I and many other Oregonians will take it very personally if those of us who raise and sell seeds or simply grow our own seeds find them contaminated by GE Canola you allowed into Oregon.  I want to make it very clear that I do not want GE Canola grown in Oregon.  Please let me know what steps you plan to take to make sure GE Canola will not contaminate my or other farmers/gardeners crops/gardens.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sharol Tilgner

2 comments:

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  2. I think by now you all know that the court of appeals blocked the temporary ruling that was allowing GE canola to be grown in the valley. This gives us awhile to make sure it does not happen.

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