Officials agree not to enforce GMO ban pending trial


by Mateusz Perkowski, Capital Press

Oregon’s Jackson County has agreed not to enforce a ban on genetically modified crops until a lawsuit over the prohibition is decided.

Alfalfa farmers — Schulz Family Farms and James and Marilyn Frink — filed a lawsuit last month challenging the legality of a county ordinance banning GMOs, which was passed by voters earlier this year.

Attorneys for the county and farmers have now jointly filed a proposed order that would enjoin enforcement of the ordinance “to allow for adequate time for the parties to brief and argue, and for the court to rule on, the validity of the ordinance as a matter of law.”

Farmers would otherwise be required to destroy all genetically engineered crops in the county by June 6, 2015, a year after the ordinance was enacted.

While Jackson County has agreed to postpone the GMO ban’s enforcement, it has filed an answer to the farmer’s complaint that indicates it plans to defend the ordinance’s legality.

The farmers claim the GMO ban violates Oregon’s “right to farm law,” which disallows local governments from passing nuisance or trespass rules against common farming practices.

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Source:  Capital Press

Posted by Jami Howell

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