Friday, March 8, 2013

Oregon Bills to Stop GMOs

Finally, we have a bill to put a moratorium on growing genetically modified alfalfa in Oregon. Additionally, we have a second bill to stop all GMO food from being grown in Oregon (including Salmon). They will both be before the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. We need to have everyone contact their Oregon state representatives and ask them to support these bills. We need to let them know these bills are to protect our livelihood (if you are a dairy farmer or dairy processor) as well as our health. If you have any involvement in the dairy industry you need to tell your representative how the GMO alfalfa effects you financially as part of the organic or conventional dairy industry and why they need to support HB 3291 that places a moratorium on the growth of GMO alfalfa in Oregon. If you farm other organic or conventional items, let your representative know that HB 3292 is the most important bill to save your farm and livelihood. If you are a consumer of these foods, contact your representative and tell them you do not want to eat genetically modified foods or animals that have consumed them. Let them know you will be watching to see how they vote. Consider offering testimony. (See the phone number below.) You can find your Oregon State legislature representative here. 

The Bills in Brief

Bill to stop GMO alfalfa: HB 3291-This is a moratorium on the raising of genetically engineered alfalfa. 
-The moratorium, which comes with a maximum fine of $25,000, is set to expire January 2, 2019. (Gives us time to make it permanent. This is in case the other bill does not get voted through.)
-Here is the link if you need more information about the bill: 
-Important Contacts: Representative Buckley (Rep Buckley BuckleP@leg.state.or.us503-986-1405)

Bill to stop all GMO food from being grown in Oregon: HB 3292-Permanent Prohibition on growing commodity containing genetically engineered material unless commodity is incapable of reproducing or material is declared incapable of damaging other commodities and, if for food, material has been declared safe for consumption. 
Makes violation subject to civil penalty, not to exceed $10,000. Declares food containing genetically engineered material to be adulterated unless material has been declared safe for consumption. Makes violation subject to maximum of $2,500 fine, six months' imprisonment, or both, and to civil penalty not exceeding $10,000. Prohibits State Department of Fish and Wildlife from approving use of genetically engineered salmon or trout stocks for crossbreeding with natural stocks. Prohibits department from approving use of genetically engineered salmon or trout stocks unless of type that has been declared safe for consumption. Prohibits licensing of proposed salmon hatchery operation producing genetically engineered salmon if proposed operation lacks substantial protections against genetically engineered salmon breeding with natural salmon or if genetically engineered salmon have not been declared safe for consumption. Requires Director of Agriculture and appointee of Director of Oregon Health Authority to recommend rejection of application for biopharm permit if biopharm lacks substantial protections against introducing genetically engineered material into nearby agricultural or horticultural commodities. Requires taking enforcement action against biopharm if biopharm endangers agricultural, horticultural or forest production or endangers public health.

-Here is the link for information about this bill: 
Representative Boone (BooneD@leg.state.or.us503-986-1432), Representative Buckley (Rep Buckley BuckleP@leg.state.or.us503-986-1405)

And if you would like to offer any testimony, please contact the committee’s administrator, Beth Patrino ( 

If you need anything else, please contact:

Representative Phil Barnhart: Phone: (503) 986-1411, Fax: (503) 986-1561, 
E-Mail: Rep.PhilBarnhart@state.or.usRepresentative Boone (BooneD@leg.state.or.us503-986-1432), Representative Buckley (Rep Buckley BuckleP@leg.state.or.us503-986-1405)