Farmers hope to ban genetically modified crops

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Associated Press

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 3 at 9:55 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Some organic farmers in Southern Oregon hope to ban genetically modified crops in Jackson County.

Supporters of the ban filed signatures with the Jackson County clerk's office on Wednesday to put a measure on the county ballot.

It would ban anyone from raising genetically engineered plants in the county, with exemptions for scientific research. It also calls for the county to conduct inspections and allows enforcement through citizen lawsuits.

Chief petitioner Brian Comnes (cohms) says they want to protect organic farmers who stand to lose money if their crops get contaminated by pollen from genetically engineered crops, such as sugar beets and alfalfa.

Jackson County Farm Bureau President Ron Bjork says he thinks most farmers in the county believe in coexistence and would oppose an outright ban.

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