Two thirds of Jackson County voters put an emphatic message to the world that GMO crops are not welcome here. The overwhelming vote was interesting in the face of more than $900,000 dollars raised by large chemical companies and invested in massive media ads that forecast dire consequences if GMO crops were outlawed. County Clerk Chris Walker said it was possibly the most expensive campaign in county history.
Voters were outraged by what they considered as out and out lies and misdirected information by the opposition group. Confusion still abounds as to whether the GMO crops are good or bad and there appears to be no independent testing going on presently to determine the issue. Meanwhile, Jackson County is going to be GMO free and Organic farmers will exist with no fears of contamination from that source. A compelling argument against GMO crops in the Rogue Valley is that geographically it is impossible to keep seed from blowing around and contaminating neighboring crops. That nightmare blows both ways; GMO seeds contaminate organic crops and if GMO seeds are found on neighboring acres, the company who patents the seed can sue the organic farmer for stealing their seeds!
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. According to labelgmos.org, “A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature, and is experimental. The correct scientific term is "transgenics," and is also often referred to as (GE) genetically engineered.
Example: Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO Corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Insecticide, but is sold unlabeled. [EPA Pesticides]”
The outcome of this event will be interesting to watch. Jackson County can interpret the law in a lot of different ways and determine how good the result will be for local farmers. One memorable law was that property taxes could only be raised 3% per year; Jackson County interpreted that to say “must” be raised by 3% per year! That is an example of something that should have been good for taxpayers being turned into a negative.
Keep an eye on this one!