Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Update on GMO Canola in Willamette Valley

Many of us have been working hard to stop the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA) from expanding the Canola boundaries  out through most of the Willamette Valley. There are various reasons it concerns us

1) 94% of canola is genetically modified
2) It will cross pollinate and contaminate many of our mustard family crops 
3) It will become a weedy pest as it moves all through the Willamette Valley 
4) It will bring in more mustard family pests for neighboring farmers to deal with.

One particular person has made it her current full time job. She has created a website that is very useful. At her website you can find everything you need to know. Here is a letter from Kim and various links from her website. I have slightly abbreviated my friend's letter and made a few notes of my own. 


Did you know the expansion of canola can harm the farmers that grow your food crops, as well as your ability to garden and save seed?  Have you given your testimony yet? 
Right now, our community is faced with a serious risk to our food and seed farmers.  The Willamette Valley is one of the last five great seed-growing regions in the world and has been a protected zone since the 1990's.  The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is trying to allow canola to be grown on thousands of acres in the Willamette Valley.  This goes directly against the scientific research done by OSU, where the findings clearly demonstrated that canola would be harmful to our vegetable seed, clover seed, fresh market and organic farmers.

An unprecedented coalition of farmers is against this change. They have told the ODA of the economic harms they face, and supported expensive legal action that stopped planting of canola this fall.  However, we're not in the clear yet.  Our farmers need your help.

On Thursday, the ODA announced that they were extending the public comment period to November 2nd.   At the September public hearing, only 7 people testified pro-canola, versus 64 against. It appears the ODA is extending the time to gain more testimonies in favor of canola. (We can use it in our favor to send more testimonies against the canola expansion.)

Organic farmers experience a double risk from the expansion of canola acreage.  The ODA has provided no restriction on GM canola and cannot restrict it by law. (Let's change that law.) Please help us preserve organic agriculture and make sure your voice is heard.  Please forward this letter to your friends and family, and help educate them about this serious risk to Oregon farmers and agriculture.  Your farmer thanks you!

Click here for our website with a ready-made testimony form:(Choose consumer testimony, or farmer testimony, as appropriate.)

More information on how growing canola is harmful to our farmers:

Our farmers thank you for your help.

Eat well,

Kim Goodwin
Oregonians for Farm & Food Rights