Because Swiss multi-national corporation Syngenta would not be given a dominant role in the Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association (SOSGA), they walked out of a process that has brought the majority of the region's seed growers together, over many months of negotiations, with the goal of seed purity. However, they cannot return home to Switzerland, as GMO crops are prohibited there.
In 2012, it was discovered that Syngenta had ignored USDA regulations and planted GMOs across the valley, next to existing organic farms in S. Oregon, over several years, with these farmers having to till under their seed crops at their own expense, or discontinue growing them altogether.
When Syngenta declared vandals had pulled out their sugar beets this spring, they called the FBI who came straight out to investigate "economic sabotage".
More than the message of alleged vandalism, the reality of seed crop contamination into the crops of our organic and non-GMO farms in Jackson County, needs to be shared widely. This message led to farmers and citizens uniting to gather nearly 7000 signatures to create a ballot initiative to ban GMO crops, that will go before Jackson County voters in May 2014, and is being heavily challenged by Oregonians for Food and Shelter and the Oregon Farm Bureau, who get funding from Syngenta and Monsanto.
And we should not take potential self-sabotage by Syngenta, off the table, to turn public opinion against our efforts to ban them from S. Oregon, just as Switzerland, their home country, has done.
Our food sovereignty depends on community action, through legal channels. With the recent defeat of Oregon SB 633 (Oregon Monsanto Protection Act) and a growing list of more than 500 farms and businesses who formally support banning GMO crops from the Rogue Valley, along with huge economic opportunities, we are well on our way.
Read the Update:
Seed Security in the Rogue Valley:
Watch the News10ktvl segments here http://youtu.be/sj4cw1ySi00 and here http://youtu.be/ZaN3lJwMJ6Q
Illegal GM sugar beet plantings spur GMO-free initiative in Oregon:
GMO Free Jackson County GMO-Free Josephine County GMO Free Oregon
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